Senior Manager + Acting Co-Lead Green Entrepreneurship
Official Project Title
(NEW) Full project title
Protecting biodiversity in Malawi and Zambia with the help of the private sector
The project team is helping micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Malawi and Zambia scale their biodiversity-friendly business models. Working with the financial sector in those countries, the team is also creating new, innovative financing instruments for the small businesses.
Lake Malawi is home to over 800 species of fish, most of which are endemic to the lake. Zambia is home to 224 different species of mammals, with over 28 of these species and subspecies considered endangered, critically endangered or threatened with extinction. However, the distinct biodiversity of the two southern African countries is increasingly threatened by agricultural and settlement expansion.
Unsustainable social and economic development is rapidly reducing Malawi’s and Zambia’s biodiversity.
Harnessing the innovative power of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises
In order to address the ongoing decline in biodiversity, the national biodiversity strategies of both countries envisage strong private sector participation and the mobilisation of private investment. Market-based solutions developed by green micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have enormous potential to contribute to biodiversity conservation due to their high level of innovation. However, both countries currently lack bankable business models and tailor-made instruments to operationalise biodiversity finance. This is where this project comes in.
Promote investment and entrepreneurship to protect biodiversity
The project aims to mobilise biodiversity investments and scale biodiversity-friendly entrepreneurship in Malawi and Zambia. The aim is to contribute to the sustainable use, conservation and restoration of local ecosystems. The focus is on two target groups: biodiversity-friendly MSMEs and financial and public institutions in Malawi and Zambia.
The Biodiversity Finance Accellerator (bioFA) website
Biodiversity-friendly MSMEs are to be given access to finance so that their business models can be scaled up. The conservation and restoration of ecosystems are integral parts of these companies’ products and services. In this way, they actively contribute to species conservation. Targeted advisory services and improved entrepreneurial capacities increase the performance potential of biodiversity MSMEs in both countries and create models that can be replicated in other regions. Biodiversity roundtables and other exchange formats also promote cross-sectoral cooperation and raise awareness among various stakeholders of market-based approaches to biodiversity conservation.
As part of the project, the understanding of conservation finance in financial and public institutions will be improved. Furthermore, innovative financial instruments will be developed. Interactive training and lab formats help to strengthen the capacity of commercial banks and public institutions to mobilise biodiversity finance and offer suitable financing instruments. A wide range of stakeholders, including the private and financial sectors, are involved in the development of innovative financing prototypes.