The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was established in 1959 as the first of the world’s regional development banks. Its purpose is to foster sustainable economic development and social progress in Latin America and the Caribbean. It does this through its lending operations, its research and knowledge dissemination, and its role in helping to shape regional policy discussions.
The IDB and its related Multilateral Investment Fund finance a number of grants for water and sanitation, energy, and natural resources.
Grant Programs for Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Natural Resources
1 — Spanish Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FCAS). Administered by IDB, the Spanish Cooperation Agency for International Development (AECID) created a special fund for projects related to drinking water; sewage systems; wastewater treatment; urban rainwater drainage; water resources management; solid waste management; and efficiency and operations management.
Eligibility for grants includes government entities; companies; cooperatives; NGOs which provide water and sanitation services; and other entities that provide public water and sanitation services in any member country of the Ibero-American Community of Nations, and in Haiti. There is no maximum or minimum grant size.
APPLICATION: Information about how to access the fund is available through AECID.
2 — Social Entrepreneurship Program (SEP). The SEP provides financing through local partner organizations to individuals and groups that generally do not have access to commercial or development loans on regular market terms. Projects help micro and small producers in marginalized communities with innovative financing. A second type of project funds pilot initiatives for business approaches to supply potable water, renewable energy, and other basic services. Most projects funded through SEP are combinations of loans and grants.
Eligibility in SEP extends to private companies, NGOs, foundations, cooperatives, producers’ associations, and public-private partnerships that operate in any of IDB’s member countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
APPLICATION: Applicants contact the relevant country office of IDB for guidance to fill out a preliminary application. If the preliminary application is approved, the next steps are to prepare a project profile, and to submit financial and other documentation in support of the application.
3 — IDB Lab. IDB Lab is the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. Its purpose is to drive innovation for inclusion in the region, co-creating life-changing solutions for vulnerable people affected by economic, social or environmental factors. IDB Lab bridges key financing gaps for innovative startups and companies that drive inclusion and systemic change in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Discovery Products (between US$150 thousand and US$1 million) finance innovative projects that generate opportunities for entrepreneurs and vulnerable populations and raise the living standards of low-income people and communities, through private sector led-solutions.
Investment Products provides VC funds and debt funds to promote a wide array of entrepreneurs and sectors and to help expand the frontiers of VC markets and geographies.
APPLICATION: IDB Lab uses a combination of calls for proposals for venture capital funds, and cohort-based investment applications for direct equities, combined with ongoing receipt of opportunities.
Applicants should contact their IDB country location to inquire more about IDB Lab financing.
How to apply for IDB Lab Financing
Geographical Distribution of Grant Activities in Developing Countries
Regional members of IDB need to be prior members of the Organization of American States. The following are the developing country members.
Latin America and Caribbean: Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela
IDB’s website is available in Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French.
IDB is a partner with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture in sponsoring the Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology (FONTAGRO), which is a grant maker for agricultural research.
Contact Us offers information for IDB’s headquarters office in Washington, DC. and for its offices in member countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.