A program to support Nature-based Enterprises creating
positive biodiversity impact in Palawan

Nature2Nurture is a first-of-its-kind gender-smart program for Nature-based Enterprises creating biodiversity positive impact across the blue economy and green economy. We are looking for local Nature-based Enterprises with solutions dedicated to restoring biodiversity, supporting local communities, and bolstering long-term resilience to climate change.


The program is seeking applications from Nature-based Enterprises (NbEs) operating and/or creating impact in Palawan that sustainably use and develop natural resources around marine or forest-protected areas, and promote conservation directly through the provision of its goods and services.

This program is designed and implemented by Villgro Philippines in collaboration with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

Applications are open until July 28, 2024 (11:59 PM)

Why Nature-based Enterprises

Nature-based Enterprises are key players in addressing the biodiversity crisis. 

The Philippines is home to diverse ecosystems, from coral reefs, seagrass beds, and marine wetlands, to natural forests and mountain ranges, making it a key biodiversity area. However, these rich ecosystems face threats from deforestation, unsustainable land development, overfishing, plastic pollution, and climate change, with 1.38 million hectares of marine and 13.1 million hectares of forest areas at risk. Nature-based Enterprises (NBE) play a pivotal part in preserving biodiversity while achieving financial and social goals, amidst threats from mining, deforestation, and accelerated tourism development.

Nature-based Enterprises operate in or around protected areas, sustainably use and develop natural resources, and promote the value of conservation through the provision of its goods and services. Its operations involve local communities, conservation organizations, and indigenous people to support responsible stewardship of nature-based solutions (NbS).

Nature2Nurture aims to:

  • Identify and support high-potential women-led Nature-based Enterprises with market-based models to grow in Palawan
  • Enable and support sustainable livelihoods for women and/or underserved local communities
  • Develop and strengthen sustainable solutions that protect and conserve the local ecological ecosystems
  • Build a pipeline of Nature-Based Enterprises creating biodiversity-positive impact through locally-led solutions
  • Contribute to the growth of knowledge and visibility of nature-based solutions

Who can apply

We are looking for Nature-based Enterprises:

  1. Owned and/or led by women
  2. Operating and/or creating impact in Palawan
  3. Solutions focused on one or more of the following:
    • Ecosystems Creation, Restoration, and Management
    • Sustainable Agriculture and Food Production
    • Sustainable Forestry and Biomaterials
    • Sustainable Tourism and Community Health and Wellbeing
  1. Early-stage enterprises with proof of concept, early test validation, and demonstrable growth potential
  2. A registered entity with SEC/DTI and/or other local authorities
  3. Actively working with communities or beneficiaries in Palawan

July 28, 2024
(11:59 PM)

What the program offers

Nature2Nurture is an 8-month high-touch program with access to grant funding, a blend of in-person and online training sessions, one-on-one business mentoring, curated industry support, technical assistance around finance, marketing, and HR to help build organizational capacity, accelerate business growth and measure impact. 

Technical Support

A customized program designed to empower enterprises by enhancing skills and knowledge in key areas of business, finance, climate and social impact, and gender assessment through deep-dive learning sessions and coaching

Seed Funding

Each enterprise will receive a grant of up to PHP 200,000 to be used to conduct lean experiments to validate business models during the program

Peer Learning and Coaching

Enterprises will go through intensive virtual ‘learning labs’ facilitated by experts through a high-impact curriculum and deep dives with peers through sharing circles


Access to one-to-one mentoring by business and domain experts to support lean experimentation and business model validation and growth

Technical Assistance

Tailored technical assistance on accounting, finance, and marketing to help build strong operational fundamentals of the business.

Investment Readiness

Each enterprise will receive basic investment readiness assessment and pitch training from our in-house investment and finance experts to build/strengthen their financial management systems and refine financial models.

Follow-on Funding

Enterprises that are ready and have investment potential will have the opportunity to get matched with and pitch to Villgro’s partner investors at the end of the accelerator program.

Impact Showcase

An opportunity for the enterprises to showcase their solutions to investors, funders, peers, and stakeholders.

Deadline: July 28, 2024 (11:59 PM)

How to apply

Please submit your application via our online form.

You will be requested to submit the following as part of your application:

  • An updated business overview deck or business plan (Required)
  • A link to a 2-minute video that describes the innovation (Optional)

A downloadable application form is also available in English or Filipino here. If you plan to submit an offline form, please email your completed application form along with your business plan and/or video to with the subject line N2N_Submission_(Enterprise Name).

Deadline: July 28, 2024 (11:59 PM PHT)


1. Who should apply? What are Nature-based Enterprises (NbEs) ?

Nature-based Enterprises (NbEs) can have different forms, including businesses, social enterprises, and community associations.

Nature-based Enterprises operate in or around protected areas, sustainably use and develop natural resources, and promote the value of conservation through the provision of its goods and services. Its operations involve local communities, conservation organizations, and indigenous people to support responsible stewardship of nature-based solutions (NbS). At their core, Nature-based Enterprises positively impact the environment alongside the attainment of financial and social returns.

2. What areas/subsectors do Nature-based Enterprises work in?

Nature-based Enterprises can cover blue and green economies in the following subsectors:

  • Ecosystems Creation, Restoration, and Management
    • Development and conservation of water ecosystems and forest cover areas
    • Restoring and reversing biodiversity losses
    • Conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of forests, and coastal areas
    • Creation and management of marine and forest-protected areas
  • Sustainable Agriculture & Food Production
    • Restoration of farmlands and food-producing services
    • Innovations in crop and seafood productivity, including plant and soil improvements of biodiversity
    • Regenerative agriculture, aquaculture, and organic farming
    • Emission reductions and energy efficiency in postharvest production
  • Sustainable Forestry & Biomaterials
    • Use of renewable living resources and sustainable farming
    • Processing innovations in novel foods, nutraceuticals, food additives, or zero-waste food processing
    • Renewable energy and low-carbon technologies for agriculture and aquaculture
    • Bio-based building materials and construction innovations
  • Sustainable Tourism and Community Health and Wellbeing
    • Creation of “green” and “blue” jobs in agricultural and fisheries or similar sectors
    • Sustainable coastal, marine ecotourism, rural and agri tourism
    • Community livelihood and well-being in landscape, forest-dependent, or coastal communities
3. Who can see the information I submit in the application?

All information submitted will be accessible to Villgro Philippines, Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) and collaboration partners including judges and assessors. All members of the program team are bound by confidentiality agreements.

4. Can I submit more than one application?

Individuals may submit more than one application under their name, given that each application is for a distinctly separate business, enterprise, or research.

5. What publicity will there be about my application?

Villgro Philippines and SPF may publicize the involvement of selected and admitted programs through communication channels including, but not limited to, websites and social media platforms of Villgro Philippines and collaboration partners, as well as other public communications channels.

6. What is the selection process?

After an initial screening, shortlisted applicants will undergo an initial diligence interview. At the next stage, applicants will be evaluated by a selection panel composed of representatives from Villgro Philippines, SPF, and external experts.

Applications will be assessed through the following criteria:

Impact on Natural Ecosystems and Biodiversity The enterprise must demonstrate a measurable impact of its activities and interventions on nature and biodiversity.
Gender Impact The enterprise must be owned by women or founded by a woman or with women in active leadership roles. Alternatively, the enterprise should offer products and services that impact women and girls, or have women as part of their value-chain.
Feasibility of Business Model The enterprise must have a clearly defined customer segment and the potential for strong product-market fit.
Social Impact Social impact is a core focus of the enterprise, directly and tangibly mitigating climate change.
Potential of Scale The enterprise precisely identifies a need or problem and offers a compelling value proposition to address it. It has a detailed understanding of its target market, including customers’ willingness to pay, demonstrating potential for future funding.
Sustainability The enterprise is capable of sustaining itself through its profits and is adaptable to industry changes, leveraging them for growth.
Team The team driving the enterprise must possess relevant experience or domain knowledge, demonstrate strong passion and commitment, exhibit leadership qualities, and have the ability to take risks.
7. How will the funding be disbursed?

Over the course of the accelerator program, each enterprise will receive a grant of up to PHP 200,000 which will be approved and disbursed upon completing key milestones.

8. Is there an application fee or program fee?

No, there is no fee for applying or participating in the program.

9. What are the steps of the application process?
  1. Initial screening: After you apply, we will review applications to verify if these meet the basic requirements for the program.
  2. Virtual due diligence interviews: Applicants that pass the initial screening will be invited to an interview to validate eligibility and program fit.
  3. Selection panel meeting: The applicant will meet with the selection panel for further evaluation of the enterprise.
  4. Final decision: Once the panel makes its decision, we will notify all applicants about whether their enterprise has been selected or not.
10. What is the program duration?

The program will run for 7 months from August 2024 to February 2025.

11. Is this an in-person or virtual program?

Nature2Nurture is a hybrid incubation program, with most of the activities running virtually and a few in-person touchpoints at the start and end of the program.

12. How many enterprises will this program support?

The programme will support at least 3 enterprises, selected based on the strength of the team, business model, and impact on biodiversity.

13. What should be the format of the optional 2-minute video for my application?

The 2-minute video can be a brief description or introduction to your innovation, solution, or enterprise. Please submit a Google Drive link to your video file.

If you have any further questions or need support with the applications,
please write to Villgro Philippines’ Climate Team at




Deadline: July 28, 2024 (11:59 PM)

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