Frequently Asked Questions
1. When and how to apply?
The 2021 call for proposal is open from 19 April to 21 May 2021. Only applications received up to the deadline will be considered. Once completed, applications must be submitted by email to email@example.com, using the application form and according to the application guidelines. For any queries regarding the application process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Can I submit the application form with supporting documents of my proposed business?
Of course! We encourage applicants to attach all relevant supporting documents at Stage 2 of the process to facilitate a successful application.
3. When will we find out if we got accepted into the 2021 programme?
PFP aims to notify all applicants for cohort 1 on the status of their applications by July 2021.
4. Will I get notified if my application gets rejected? What can I do after?
Yes, we will clearly communicate our final decision (acceptance and rejection) via email. All applicants (successful or not) from Stages 1-3 of the application process can join online sharing sessions by the Panel of Experts (PoE) and other experts aimed at improving capacities of the cohort, but only cohort members can actively participate.
5. How many stages are there in the PFP Business Hub Accelerator Programme application?
The application and selection process involves 3 main stages.
Stage 1: Preliminary Screening - Submission of a concept note
Stage 2: Detailed Application - Submission of a business plan
Stage 3: Interview with Field Visit - Final selection stage before cohort is announced
Each concept note will be reviewed to ensure that it complies with the eligibility criteria and will then be evaluated against the selection criteria, including significant social, environmental and economic impacts; gender equality, women’s empowerment, social inclusion, organic agriculture and fair trade practices.
Shortlisted candidates will proceed to submit a business plan which will be evaluated against the full list of selection criteria, which, in addition to those criteria listed above, includes: revenue streams, risk mitigation, realistic business financial plan and model, sustainability, scaling, replication and mechanism in place in monitoring and reviewing costs to gain support of project funders.
Applicants that make it through to Stage 3 will be interviewed in-person or virtually by the PoE and PFP Secretariat. Field visits will be organised to ensure contextual information that best reflects local conditions can be captured in the project scoring process.
6. What are the eligibility and assessment criteria?
(i) Project relevance to improving peatland management, (ii) Aligned to prioritised themes, (iii) Impact measured through peat protection, economic productivity and social inclusion & empowerment, (iv) local stakeholder buy-in, (v) realistic financial plan and business model, (vi) Clear needs for business support and technical assistance, (vii) organisational strength and (viii) under supported geographical areas.
1. What is the PFP Business Hub Accelerator Programme?
It is a 9-month journey with PFP aimed at optimizing innovative solutions in business, finance, and peat management with industry experts and investors - tailored for each unique business.
2. How many winners will be awarded for each cohort?
6 winners per cohort will be awarded. Final cohort members selected will be informed via PFP’s website and email. They will receive business support & technical assistance from the PFP Secretariat, PoE & PFP’s network of consultants and experts.
3. Who represents the Panel of Experts (PoE) and what is their role?
The PoE is an advisory committee that includes visionaries, experienced NGO leaders, experts on peatlands, innovative financing & impact fund experts, business incubators, private sectors and sustainable businesses. Primary roles and responsibilities of the PoE include (i) Advise PFP in the individual’s area of expertise, (ii) Assess and screen projects to meet PFP’s selection criteria, (iii) Provide strategic advice and mentorship to members of the Business Hub cohort (screening, acceleration, investment), (iv) Capacity building through interactive workshops and (v) Link cohort projects to advocacy initiatives, market access and funding opportunities.
4. Wouldn’t encouraging business and agriculture on peatlands accelerate peatland conversion and degradation?
People for Peat does not advocate for the conversion of intact peatlands into production landscapes. The Business Hub targets peatlands that are already being used for production, but can be used better.
5. Can oil palm and/or acacia plantations join the Business Hub?
As long as the business aims to improve either of its environmental, social, and/or financial impact(s) without worsening the other(s), it is welcome to apply.
6. What financial incentives does the Business Hub provide successful applicants?
The Business Hub currently does not provide direct financial incentives but contributes via business and administrative support, technical assistance, and access to experts and investors instead.
7. What technical assistance (TA) services does the Business Hub provide to successful applicants?
The Business Hub programme helps businesses become investment ready through TA services to improve business profitability, environmental compliance/stewardship, and social inclusiveness. TA can include: a) producing detailed action plans to improve environmental management at project site, maximise environmental impacts, and on-site support for implementation, b) business support to improve business modeling and practices to maximise profits, minimise risks, and establish offtake agreements, and c) tailoring the business plan and strategic engagements to maximise social impact and inclusiveness.
8. Why should I join the programme?
If successful, you will be the beneficiary of a 9-month long incubation programme and provided with business mentorship and technical assistance from a Panel of Experts; assisted by country-specific peatland consultants & PFP Secretariat. Through this programme, you will gain project visibility, regional and global market access, partnership and collaboration with non-state actor peatland networks across all ASEAN countries, access to capital from the PFP financial ecosystem & Multi-stage link to investors for detailed project funding alignment.
9. Does the PFP Business Hub directly invest in the peatland projects?
PFP Business Hub does not invest or take any equity in the projects during the accelerator programme.
10. Will there be a ‘Demo Day’?
Projects will be linked to investors in multiple stages throughout the accelerator programme, via face-to-face or online pitches. Our equivalent of a ‘Demo Day’ is tentatively set for 13 or 14 October 2021.
11. Will PFP help with PR and media support to gain project visibility?
While there is no direct PR support, our Communications team will work towards getting our projects highlighted in local and regional channels.
12. How does the PFP Business Hub Accelerator Programme measure success?
Our focus is to grow sustainable businesses on the peatland ecosystem by accelerating growth to be investment-ready for both the local, ASEAN and global market. Our key measure of success is to improve economic productivity, environmental protection, and social inclusion of businesses on peatlands through catalysing investment and business model transformation.
13. What is the geographical scope of the programme?
The call is open to bankable project ideas from all ASEAN Member States (excluding Brunei and Singapore) containing peatland ecosystems.
14. Is there a financial floor and/or ceiling to bankable project submissions?
There are no financial limitations to the submissions. The applicant should submit a project budget outlining financing requirements that are commensurate to the stage and needs of the project. However, per the eligibility criteria, we expect bankable projects that offer a profitable revenue model.
15. Where do I go if I have more questions?
Kindly email our team at email@example.com. We will do our best to respond to all inquiries within three working days. This FAQ will be updated regularly to reflect questions that we receive from prospective applicants, to ensure all applicants have access to the same information.
FAQ updated: 19 April 2021