Victoria Harris

Carbon Grant Fund

What does your company do?

Over 90% of greenhouse gasses are emitted by Global North and the effects felt in our most vulnerable communities in Africa. At the Carbon Grant Fund, we believe that our Pan-African community-based green businesses should have equal access to the global climate funding. Unlocking growth capital for community SMME’s that are currently absorbing, reducing or avoiding greenhouse gasses is key to tackling the climate crisis. This flow of funding can also achieve greater impact at the same time through the increase in job creation, gender equality with the funding and prioritising of female owned SMME’s, improved livelihoods, access to cleaner energies and services and the reduction of inequalities. Our communities are driving solutions but are not benefiting from global sources of funding nor being equipped with the tools and support to be recognized as active members in the fight. The Climate Crisis needs a cumulative effort to fight and meet our SDG Goals. While hyper focused climate solutions make a big effort to get us there, we need a more inclusive model to meet these goals as a community. Supporting skills development of community based small medium and micro entrepreneur's to think with a climate lens and operate with a circular business model provides the platform for growth and increased efficiencies while improving the climate impact. Having the skills to operate as a climate business and service a traditional market, brings both the SMME and the consumer as active members into the fight against the climate crisis. The Climate Grant Fund does this by providing, access to global funding, programmes and skills development to build more resilient climate SMME's driving greater impact in our communities in South Africa.

What is your biggest success?

Post a successful entrepreneurship career, have spent the past 10 years immersed in SMME (small micro and medium enterprise) development across the continent. Within my portfolio i have supported over 500 SMEs and unlocked both funding and skills development to create jobs where we need them the most, in our communities. My greatest achievement has been launching the climate grant fund where I have the opportunity to continue my work of alleviating unemployment through entrepreneurship, improving livelihoods and investing in gender equality through the lens of climate impact.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Funding. I know its the age old hurdle for enterprises, and especially social enterprises. In order to validate voluntary markets as a source of funding for women producing biofuel in township, rural and peri-urban areas I need to raise funding to build and validate a framework on the gold standards. Any funding raised goes directly to this to prove that we can unlock flow of funding for our women founders in biofuel.