My climate action involves promoting climate innovation and helping climate startups. To avoid global warming from climbing another 1.5 degrees, every sector of the global economy needs to transform in just over two business cycles. Entrepreneurs will likely be at the forefront of this climate fight because they can bring ideas into practice, introduce innovation, fulfil consumer demand, create demand for sustainability, and change habits and cultures. Climate Tech Startups
Entrepreneurs can convert this crisis into opportunity while harnessing the power of technology. According to our recent report with Impact Investors Council and Arete Advisors, 120 climate tech startups in India raised nearly $1.2 billion from 2016 through 2020, of which $740 million came in 2019 and 2020.
I support initiatives for youth entrepreneurship and climate data-focused solutions through climate technology incubators and accelerators. At Climate Collective, I lead programs to provide broad-ranging support to these entrepreneurs, helping them to develop business know-how, market connections and technical capacity, and providing guidance on sources and procedures for access to finance. Through this program we will be supporting 50 exceptional early-stage young climate entrepreneurs in the field of circular economy, waste management, e-mobility, sustainable food technology, and sustainable tourism over the course of next 3 months. I was very happy when I found out that 55% of the startups who applied for Youth Co:Lab had female cofounders.
We have been seeing increase in the number of startups coming up with innovative solutions to support the mitigation and adaptation to climate change. We have supported 150+ clean tech startups in India over the past 6 months! As of 30 September 2021, there are now 30 climate-tech unicorns around the world who have collectively raised over $22B+ of total funding in the last decade and are now collectively valued at $69B+.
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Before Climate Collective foundation, I was working with ZS Associates, a multinational consulting firm. My climate action at that time was limited to volunteering at plantation drives, participating in constructive dialogues through the fellowships with YLAC (Young Leaders for Active Citizenship) and GPODS (Global Policy, Diplomacy and Sustainability), and sustainability training and capacity building sessions for different sections of the society, mostly through the social cell that I co-founded back in college, Parvaah. Parvaah has been working towards zero waste initiatives for the last three years.
The tide is slowly changing. While the world is looking to accelerate the green recovery, I want to support the effort at ground level and enable the vulnerable masses closest to the problem to develop solutions that are implementable and scalable. Inclusive strategy to develop the entrepreneurship talent and opportunities in climate across the global south will likely lead to a much stronger outcome for both developing countries and the world.
Neha Naikwade is a mechanical engineer and co-Founder of Parvaah. She currently works with the Climate Collective Foundation where she helps develop climate-oriented startups and entrepreneurs. She is a youth climate leader for We The Change which aims to showcase climate solutions pioneered by 17 young Indians. The views expressed are the author’s own.