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Eligibility & selection criteria

Take a look at our eligibility and selection criteria.

Target areas


Projects to reduce, limit or sequestrate GHG emissions.


Projects to adapt to current and expected effects of Climate Change.

Eligibility criteria

The ICFA is a multi-year acceleration program for first/second-time fund managers focused on climate finance.

Are you an emerging fund manager?
  • The applicant is a first- or second-time fund management or fund advisory company (the “Applicant”) and intends to set up a climate investment fund (the “Fund Project”). 1
  • The Applicant will uphold best market practices. 2
  • The Applicant will or intends to be duly authorized or supervised by a competent supervisory authority of an EU Member State; or subject to a regulatory and/or supervisory regime that is equivalent to that of EU Member States. 3
Planning to set up an Impact Fund
  • The Fund Project will have an integrated due diligence process in place to identify, manage, monitor, and measure the environmental and social impacts, risks, and opportunities of investments.
  • The Fund Project will report on expected and realized results through pre-defined indicators on an annual basis. 4
  • ICFA’s exclusion policy applicable to 100% of the investment portfolio. 5
With Climate Finance as its Primary Focus
  • The Fund Project will have climate change mitigation and/or adaptation as its sustainable investment objectives. 6
  • The Fund Project has a target portfolio corresponding to 75% of total assets in investments related, with a clear and direct link, to mitigation and/or adaptation of climate change or cross-cutting activities. 7
And ready to be accelerated?
  • The Fund Project has a viable climate finance investment strategy, backed up by a market feasibility study and a well-developed pipeline.
  • The Fund Project has a plausible impact strategy, supported by best-practice impact measurement and management methodologies.
  • The Applicant has strong commitment to creating positive impact and the team members have proven track records in developing and managing climate finance investments.
  • The Applicant has realistic fundraising strategy and capacity to launch the Fund Project, which is attractive in terms of financial and non-financial returns.

1 Eligible Applicants are unlisted small companies up to five years following their registration and/or the start of their economic activity, which have not yet distributed profits and have not been formed through a merger. If the Applicant is part of a group of companies, i.e., an economic entity formed of multiple companies which are directly or indirectly controlled by a controlling company, eligibility will consider on a group basis.
2Alongside the adoption of CSR / sustainability policies, best market practices refer to the implementation of robust due diligence processes in relation to sustainability and impact assessment premised on widely recognized integration standards.
3The equivalence of regulatory and/or supervisory frameworks of non-EU countries with the EU framework will be assessed premised on the equivalence decisions of the European Commission and the Luxembourg national supervisory authority.
4The Fund Project may rely on international standards for sustainability and impact reporting in their impact disclosures. In case of intermediated finance, the standards and underlying risk management systems shall also be applicable at an intermediary level.
5The Fund Project’s exclusion policy must be in accordance with the ICFA Exclusion Policy. In case of intermediated finance, the Fund Project must also comply with the ICFA Exclusion Policy at an intermediary level.
6For Fund Projects to be subject to the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (“SFDR”), this requirement will be assessed on the basis of the (intended) product classification as an Article 9 product within the meaning of the SFDR. For Fund Projects that are not subject to the SFDR, this requirement will be assessed based on their investment objectives as per their (intended) legal and reporting documentation.
7The link to climate-related activities shall be determined based on internationally and/or regionally agreed classification systems and taxonomies, such as the MDBs’ Common Principles for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Finance Tracking. Regardless of the classification system applied, the Fund Project should demonstrate alignment with the universally aligned with the Paris Agreement activity classification.

Selection criteria

Eligible applicants will have the opportunity to enter the selection process.

During the selection process, your proposal and your team will be assessed on various features, including the following, as well as your readiness to be accelerated.

Investment Strategy
  • Innovative thematic investment strategy
  • Potential to be replicated and scaled
  • Identified credible deal flow channels and secured strong pipeline of investment opportunities
Impact Strategy
  • Triple bottom-line investment strategy with integrated best-practice impact framework
  • Balanced inclusion of ESG criteria in the investment process, including cross-cutting topics
  • Credible climate impact measurement, targeting social and/or environment objectives and management methodology over the fund life
  • Innovative fund concept combining public/private sources of capital
  • Focus on challenging geographies and/or developing countries
  • Non-financial support provided to investees
Team Track Record
  • First- or second-time fund managers or fund advisors raising a climate finance fund
  • Skills and experience in fund management
  • Focus on innovation, a vision for growth, and the drive to scale their business
  • Strong commitment to create positive impact in the targeted geographies and sectors
  • Track record and investment experience in climate finance by team and individual members
  • Alignment as a team with a credible plan to commit full-time toward launching the fund
  • Capacity to perform ESG due diligence and address ESG issues
  • Adequate financial commitment by the team and individual team members, and adequate means to endure delays to the fund launch
  • Local on-the-ground presence and/or local support to investees
Fundraising Capacity
  • Fund concept supported by an advanced financial model with attractive financial and non-financial returns
  • Credible fundraising strategy and access to target investors with global and domestic networking channels and capabilities
  • Ability to communicate and convince investors
  • Traction with fund investors
  • Commitment, persistence and resources to complete the fundraising process

Selection Committee

The ICFA has appointed an independent Selection Committee, which uses its in-depth expertise in environmental, climate change and impact finance in order to propose a balanced selection of innovative and promising fund managers.

Barbara Boos

Barbara Boos

Independant Advisor

Barbara is a seasoned investment practitioner in the climate and infrastructure space. Prior to becoming an independent advisor, she held various positions at the EIB Group for more than 20 years and was heading the Climate and Infrastructure Fund investment activities from 2018 to 2023. Barbara has extensive experience of renewable energy, energy efficiency, environment and resources, sustainable transport, digital and social infrastructure fund investments and a solid ESG and risk background. During her career, Barbara held various executive and non-executive board positions. Barbara is a member of the UNPRI Infrastructure Advisory Committee.
Femke Bos

Femke Bos

Director Business Development, Strategy & IESG at Invest International

Femke Bos is the Director Business Development, Strategy & IESG of Invest International. Invest International is set up in July 2021 by the Dutch Government and FMO, the Dutch Development Bank, to foster innovative solutions with the for global, SDG related, challenges in Emerging Markets and to make the necessary investments feasible.

She brings a wealth of experience in impact investing, project development and fund management in Emerging Markets covering themes as financial inclusion, energy and climate, water, agri-food, health and sustainable infrastructure. Prior to joining Invest International, she worked at Triodos Investment Management and FMO, where she held several (fund) management positions and set up the Triodos Microfinance Fund. During her career she also served as a Non- Executive Director on the boards of a number of Microfinance and SME banks in South East Asia.

Emanuele Santi

CEO at Development Finance Lab and President and co-founder of Afrilanthropy

Impact investing expert and social entrepreneur with nearly two decades working for major international development finance institutions (World Bank, African Development Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development) and an experience as Fund Manager of a global blended finance vehicle for agribusiness, Mr Santi is the currently CEO of Development Finance Lab, a Luxembourg-based boutique consulting company advising clients on impact investing solutions for developing and emerging countries. He is also the President and co-founder of Afrilanthropy, an international solidarity platform focused on advising and incubating African home grown social enterprises. He holds a PhD in Development Policies from the University of Trieste, a Master in Economics from the College of Europe in Bruges and Certificate in Public Financial Management from Harvard. He speaks Italian, English, Spanish, Portugues … and wéineg Lëtzebuergesch!
Martin Poulsen

Niels Martin Poulsen

Managing Director of Acacia Sustainable Business Advisors

Martin Poulsen has been active in sustainability, private equity, SME finance and emerging markets for over 25 years. He has worked extensively on both the GP and LP sides and been successful in raising capital from both public and private sources, including for new fund managers pursuing innovative investment strategies.

He is Managing Director of Acacia Sustainable Business Advisors, which provides advisory and fund- raising services to fund managers SMEs, NGOs and public sector organisations (particularly with climate-oriented strategies). He was a founder and co-CEO of the Moringa Partnership, an agroforestry sector fund manager from 2012-2016. Martin is a member of the IDH Farmfit Fund Investment Committee, Senior Advisor to Consilium Capital and has been instrumental in establishing many innovative and impactful sustainable finance initiatives.

From 2009-2011 he served as chief private equity officer at the African Development Bank. Between 2003 and 2009, he led the European Investment Bank (EIB) private equity investment activities in sub-Saharan Africa and in European renewable energy. From 1997-2002, he was a member of the team that established Kennet Capital, one of Europe’s leading early-stage technology venture capital firms. Before this, he worked for the Commonwealth Development Corporation as a project engineer at agribusinesses in Cote d’Ivoire and Swaziland.

Martin has served as a member of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) Africa Council. He has a Master’s degree in manufacturing engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in general engineering from Cambridge University. He is a fluent speaker of English, French, Dutch and German and lives close to Geneva.

Jack Knellinger

CEO and Founder of Revoluity LLC

Jack Knellinger is a serial entrepreneur and investor currently serving as CEO and Founder of Revoluity LLC, an advisory firm working with emerging fund managers and startups building conscious companies.

Before forming his advisory firm, he served as a co-founder and Partner of Capria Ventures, a global venture capital firm accelerating the flow of early-stage capital in emerging markets to deliver superior returns and impact at scale. During his tenure, AUM across Capria’s fund manager network grew to over $1.5B AUM, with fund and direct investments spanning more than 40 countries.

Jack began his career as a software developer with LexisNexis though his time as a developer was short lived due to his pursuit of entrepreneurial endeavors focused on bringing meaningful solutions to market for the betterment of people and the planet. Jack was selected as one of the top 50 under 40 emerging leaders in social enterprise by the Social Enterprise Alliance and American Express in recognition of his previous work.

Laurence Hulin

Programme Director at ICFA

Laurence is Programme Director at the International Climate Finance Accelerator Luxembourg (ICFA) in March 2022. ICFA is an acceleration programme aimed at supporting innovative and impactful emerging fund managers in establishing their investment vehicles to combat climate change.

Laurence brings 5 years’ experience in acceleration programme management, supporting start-ups achieving development and scale-up including the development of international visibility, fostering startup ecosystem.

Additionally, she brings 15 years of expertise in the banking and fund industry.

Laurence earned a MSc in Finance from Liege University, where she conducted research and authored scientific papers on risks and insurance. She contributed to the writing of a book on actuarial theories.