About the Grant Challenge
The Natural Capital and Biodiversity Grant Challenge 2023 is sponsored by ANSA Merchant Bank in collaboration with ANSA Bank and The Cropper Foundation. It is open to Small or Medium Enterprises (SMEs) registered in Trinidad and Tobago who incorporate nature-based interventions or contribute directly to the conservation/restoration of natural assets.
The grant competition aims to challenge SMEs to explore natural capital approaches in business planning and decision-making across various sectors in T&T.
Applications for the grant can be submitted online from May 22 – August 28, 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the application process?
The Natural Capital and Biodiversity Grant Challenge for SMEs in Trinidad and Tobago is a two-stage application process. Call for proposals will be launched on the Caribbean Natural Capital webpage at tt.ansamerchantbank.com/natural-capital and promoted via digital, broadcast, and print media. The Call for Proposals will specify the scope of projects and which types of organisations are eligible.
- Stage 1: Applicants will be invited to fill out an online application form, which will be accessible from the 22nd of May – the 28th of August 2023 at https://tt.ansamerchantbank.com/nc-grant-submissions/
Applicants would be required to provide the following information:
- Description of the business
- Description of the business product/service and the linkages to natural capital and biodiversity in Trinidad and Tobago
- Description of the target market
Stage 2: Applications will be screened by an Expert Advisory Panel and shortlisted applicants will then be invited to participate in our incubator programme. Throughout this stage, technical support will be made available to applicants to refine their business model and products/services to a level that is oriented with natural capital and biodiversity innovations.
All information submitted by applicants will be held in high confidence.
What do I need to apply?
To apply, you will need:
- Business Registration
- Business Profile, explaining product/service offered
- Brief summary of the current and potential impacts and dependencies on natural capital
Who is offering this grant?
ANSA Merchant Bank, in collaboration with ANSA Bank and The Cropper Foundation, is pioneering the first financial institution-led incubator programme that supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs) focusing on natural capital/biodiversity solutions in T&T.
Is this a business loan?
No, this is not a business loan. It is a grant, therefore there is no expectation that the business must repay the funds. The Grant programme provides direct funding for each project. It is open to companies operating within Trinidad and Tobago.
Who is eligible to apply?
- Caribbean Natural Capital Hub members
- Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in any industry of Trinidad and Tobago
- Registered entities (in existence for at least one year) focused on enhancing and/or protecting the national Natural Capital and whose main operations are within any of the industries of Trinidad and Tobago. These can include sole traders, partnerships, limited liability companies.
What is an SME?
In Trinidad and Tobago, a small enterprise is defined as having a staff of between 6-25 employees and sales of up to TT$5M (US$770,000) annually, while a medium enterprise has 26-50 employees and sales of up to TT$10M (US$1.5m) annually.
Do I have to be a member of the Caribbean Natural Capital Hub to be eligible to apply for the grant?
Yes, you do. If you have not registered as yet, you will be able to register when you are submitting your application for the grant at https://tt.ansamerchantbank.com/nc-grant-submissions/
Can SMEs registered outside of Trinidad and Tobago apply?
Yes, they can, however, they must be a partner of an SME registered in Trinidad and Tobago, where at least 50% of the partnership belongs to the firm in T&T.
How much is the grant?
We will be awarding a total of TT$100,000 in grants to three (3) SMEs as follows:
What can the grant be used for?
• Professional fees of experts contracted for the project
• Costs associated with hiring staff or assigning existing staff specifically to the project during the implementation of the project
• Travel expenses related to the project
• Fees for external technical testing services
• Prototyping costs
• Capital expenses such as equipment–eligible costs are calculated based on a monthly depreciation cost plus % of time used on the project.
• Consumables related to the project
• Graphic design: identity, logo, packaging, brochures, social media
• Marketing material during project period – e.g. for trials
• Packaging material during project period – e.g. for trials
• Sales and marketing during project period – e.g. for trials
• Certification and auditing – related to an innovation
• Intellectual property – professional fees and registration in the first market
• Raw material – for testing, demonstration purposes and piloting the innovation
• Rent of special facilities related to project development – e.g. temperature-controlled room, laboratory facility
How will the applications be assessed?
The Natural Capital and Biodiversity Grant Challenge for SMEs is keen to identify business opportunities for products and services that prioritise building, conserving, and restoring nature’s stocks in Trinidad and Tobago. It is interested in supporting start-ups and growing SMEs aiming to develop products and/or services that align with this purpose.
What is Natural Capital?
Natural Capital is defined as the world’s stocks of natural assets which include forests, soil, air, water, and all living things. It is from this natural capital that we derive a wide range of ecosystem goods and services, which make human life, as we know it, possible.
Why is Natural Capital important?
Natural Capital accounting aids firms in comprehending how dependent on natural resources economic growth is, both for delivering goods and services and for absorbing waste and pollution.
What is a Natural Capital and Biodiversity ready business solution?
Natural Capital business solutions involve products or services that incorporate nature-based interventions or contribute directly to the conservation/restoration of natural assets such as those listed above.
Example 1: Produce from farms that adopt and actively engage in sustainable practices such as soil conservation and agro-biodiversity can be considered product-oriented in Natural Capital and Biodiversity.
Example 2: A tour-guide company that integrates activities that promote the planet’s well-being, like beach clean-ups or re-forestation. These can be considered services oriented in Natural capital and Biodiversity.