energy entrepreneur

Reaching the last-mile: Women’s social and sustainable energy entrepreneurship

With the support of the US State Department’s wPOWer program, Solar Sister partnered with MIT’s Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE) to study last-mile customer preferences and evaluate the reach of Solar Sister’s women-centered distribution chain. MIT conducted over 600 interviews in Tanzania with both Solar Sister customers and non-customers. This report highlights the findings.

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Supporting Energy Entrepreneurs through the Empowered Entrepreneur Training Program

Women play a critical role in the cookstove value chain because of their central responsibility for managing household energy. As primary users of household energy products, such as cleaner cookstoves, women can catalyze the market as micro-entrepreneurs and small-sized enterprise owners through the distribution and delivery of clean energy technologies and after-sales services. However, they need proper support for their role as cookstove entrepreneurs.

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This is a training manual developed by GVEP International to assist energy entrepreneurs in gaining access to the necessary financing. Although this manual is not specifically aimed towards female energy entrepreneurs, women-owned small and medium enterprises comprise 30 percent of these businesses in emerging markets. Therefore, this manual, which focuses on business aspects of the energy sector, can be utilized to assist female and male entrepreneurs. 

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This report explains the lessons learned and recommendations from GVEP Uganda’s loan guarantee and microfinance program. This loan guarantee program supports energy entrepreneurs and the expansion of access to modern energy. Key challenges for potential lenders include lack of collateral, high interest rates, and misconception of the loan finance. Challenges for the financial institutions include misunderstanding the loan guarantee and the lack of proper due diligence for granting loans. These challenges and recommendations to overcome them are discussed. 

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