The Inter-American Development Bank (“IDB“) seeks to support innovative projects that contribute to mainstreaming the Blue Economy in Tobago to achieve economic recovery, diversification, and inclusion.

The IDB is looking to support private sector individuals and organizations based and/or legally constituted in Tobago, such as startups, foundations, non-profits, corporates, among others, to develop concept ideas for projects that will support blue economy sectors such as:

  • Ecosystem Restoration and Carbon Sequestration.
  • Circular Economy.
  • Aquaculture and Sustainable Fishing.
  • Renewable energy, including marine-based renewable energy.
  • Blue Biotechnology.

The proposed solutions must:

  1. Be innovative and present a project idea or business model that has not been implemented before in the country or add an innovation component to an existing model.
  2. Focus on mainstreaming the Blue Economy, thus contributing to economic diversification, inclusion, and recovery.
  3. Contemplate a path for scalability or replication and financial sustainability.


Private sector individuals and organizations such as startups, foundations, non-profits, and corporates, with demonstrated expertise in at least one of the priority Blue Economy sectors mentioned below. Organizations must be legally residing in Tobago.


IDB may consider the five applicants whose proposals are selected to receive financing up to US$10.000 to develop their project idea/business model.

Applicants whose selected proposals will also be showcased on the Sustainable Island Platform website.

Selected Applicants will receive IDB funding once:

  • The proposed project idea/business model has been duly analyzed to obtain evidence of its viability.
  • The Applicant’s experience in the sector, capacity to manage the financial resources, and project execution experience have been evaluated.
  • A legal written agreement has been signed between the IDB and the winners.


Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Level of innovation of the project idea/business model, disruptive technologies, methodologies, and/or processes (15%).
  • Degree of social and economic impact. Special consideration will be given to models targeting excluded groups and communities or low-income/poor and vulnerable populations in the country where the project will be implemented (20%).
  • Financial sustainability or growth potential over the next 3-5 years after funding (revenue generation model) (15%)
  • The technical capacity of Applicant and strategic partners, including compliance with environmental safeguards and targeted monitoring, and to implement the proposed model in the country where the project will be implemented (15%).
  • Potential for scale or replication of the proposed business model in the country where the project will be implemented (15%).
  • The model’s viability of execution includes defining potential risks that may affect successful implementation and mitigating actions to address these risks (15%).
  • Promotion of gender equity (5%).


Applicants can present their applications and apply for a Non-Reimbursable Grant. Please note that counterpart financing is expected but not mandatory.


No longer accepting applications


Phase I: After completing the application, an IDB Group technical team will review, analyze, and pre-select the applications.

Phase II: Due diligence visits or interviews will be conducted to analyze the viability of the model of the pre-selected applications. Subject to the outcome of the due diligence, pre-selected applications will proceed to Phase III.

Phase III: IDB will select applications according to the evaluation criteria described above. Selected applications will be announced as per the established timeline. Once the projects have been assessed, IDB will support the selected Applicant(s) to initiate the project’s design (including developing a project plan and other documents necessary to request official internal IDB approval). This process may last up to six months, depending on the maturity of the proposed model and the implementing capacity of the selected Applicants.

*Note that final approval is subject to internal IDB procedures with the understanding that for a project to be selected to receive financing, it must have been approved by all those directly involved in the IDB approval process. Likewise, a legal agreement must be signed which sets forth how the financing and the counterpart resources will be used to implement the model.


Dates are approximate and subject to change:
Challenge Launch: June 1st, 2022
Submit applications: June 1st – July 31st, 2022 (midnight, Eastern Time USA)
Review and due diligence by IDB Group: August 2022
Announcement of selected applications: End of August 2022

For a full description of the challenge, please download the guidelines document.

Download the application form here. Please submit your application by July 31st, 2022.