Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) play a pivotal role in driving change, constituting approximately 90% of all businesses. Particularly in emerging markets, they are responsible for generating 7 out of every 10 jobs. It is imperative to acknowledge that achieving global climate targets is contingent on mobilizing financial resources for SMEs. Access to finance remains a critical impediment to the growth and development of SMEs.

This session aims to share insights between start-ups, policymakers, and investors, on the successes and challenges climate entrepreneurs face on their journey to scale. The objective is to explore strategies for directing climate finance toward climate-focused enterprises in low- and middle-income countries as they transition toward a net-zero economy.

During the session, we will highlight an early-stage climate business, delve into the challenges entrepreneurs encounter, and showcase examples of a successful multi-stakeholder cross-country collaboration aimed at nurturing an investment-ready and financially viable climate enterprise. The conversation will use the example of one partnership to have a broader discussion around climate finance. The session will highlight how public-private collaboration represents opportunities for North-South partnerships that can significantly contribute to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).



  • Ole Thonke, Undersecretary for Development Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark

  • Robyn McGuckin, Executive Director, P4G

  • Melanie Robinson, Global Climate Program Director, World Resources institute

  • Khalid Duri, CEO, Africa Bamboo

  • Lilian Macharia, Director for Division of Portfolio Management, Green Climate Fund

  • Dr. Getahun Garedaw, Director General, Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority