"Solar Sister, a social enterprise operating in Tanzania, Uganda, and Nigeria, is dedicated to eradicating energy poverty through the economic empowerment of women. In addition to economically empowering its women entrepreneurs, the business model of Solar Sister also cultivates sales networks built on trust in last-mile distribution methods. While Solar Sister has previously conducted research regarding its many entrepreneurs, it has lacked information on its end customers. In 2016 a research team from Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship undertook survey research with Solar Sister to examine the effects of solar lantern use on users’ health, education, time allocation, household savings, income generation, and increased agency. The research team conducted a 53-question survey in more than 20 villages across five regions in Tanzania, with research assistants providing English-Swahili translation. The data and stories presented here are intended to help illuminate the potential of solar lanterns to improve livelihoods in rural Tanzania and beyond."
"The Landscape for Impact Investing in West Africa is a state of the market analysis of the impact investing industry in the region. The report includes regional findings from 15 countries, as well as dedicated chapters covering the most active markets: Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal. Across the region, investors highlight opportunities for impact and financial return, particularly in the key sectors of energy, financial technologies, and agriculture.
The landscape study is based on thorough analysis of relevant literature, large volumes of transaction data, and extensive interviews with key industry stakeholders. Detailed country chapters include information on the supply of capital by investor type, investment opportunities by sector, and regulatory considerations and hurdles for impact investors and investees."
"The Global Cleantech Innovation Index (GCII) programme investigates where, relative to GDP, entrepreneurial clean technology companies are most likely to emerge from over the next 10 years - and why. Drawing on a wide range of factors and sources, the study seeks to answer the same question as the 2012 and 2014 GCII reports, namely: which countries currently have the greatest potential to produce entrepreneurial cleantech start-up companies that will commercialise clean technology innovations over the next 10 years?"
"This document presents ENERGIA’s four-year journey to create and upscale womencentric energy enterprises that sell safe, reliable and affordable energy solutions to low-income consumers in underserved areas. ENERGIA works with partner organizations in seven countries in an effort to develop and test new, disruptive business models and approaches that promote women as energy entrepreneurs. This document is a self-reflection, undertaken collectively by the WEE programme coordinator, the partner organizations and the ENERGIA International Secretariat. As a learning document, it seeks to analyse the various strategies with which we have worked in different contexts. It draws out common features of the most promising ones, as well as lessons from efforts that did not go so well, or even failed completely. Since documentation on women’s energy entrepreneurship is only beginning to emerge, wherever relevant, we have crosschecked our lessons with those from women’s entrepreneurship in other sectors."
"In this Shell Foundation report, we share the findings from our work with leading social enterprises to build sustainable rural value chains in the off-grid energy sector over the last two decades. This report focuses on the question: can we improve the economics of social enterprises serving last mile customers to the point where they can secure sufficient investment to serve billions, not millions, of people who live on $2 to $10 a day?"
"What does it take to scale up the growth of green sectors? This study was initiated to shed light on the common challenges that have limited the scaling of green enterprises and the emergence of competitive green sectors in developing countries. It also aims to uncover and catalog emerging opportunities that offer potential for enabling the scale up of these sectors in ways that might not have been possible in the past due to lack of a technology platform, mature business model, or other emerging opportunity. Finally, the study offers key recommendations for donors, governments, development finance institutions (DFIs), and entrepreneurial supports organizations that support green enterprises and seek to scale green sectors in developing countries.
The study focuses on enterprises operating across five green sectors – climate-smart agriculture, renewable energy, solid waste management, drinking water purification and management, and wastewater management. Within these five sectors, the study takes a deeper dive into seven sub-sectors that provide an interesting mix of business models, some of which are scalable and replicable, offer insights for other subsectors, and highlight innovative responses to the common challenges that green sectors face. These sub-sectors are solar home systems (SHS), mini/micro grids, community water purification, drip irrigation systems, online platforms for waste management, e-waste management, and industrial wastewater management."
"A consistent approach to impact calculations allows companies, investors, policymakers, multi-lateral institutions, non-government organizations, and other sector stakeholders to estimate the impacts created by off-grid solar in a consistent, clear, and coherent manner. The metrics help build the evidence base for the many benefits that off-grid solar lighting and high-performing appliances unlock for people previously living in energy poverty."
"The global drive to provide universal access to sustainable and modern energy by 2030 is creating numerous opportunities for energy users and suppliers. However, men and women do not benefit equally from these opportunities. As users, they have different energy needs linked to their different gender roles. Gender blindness in the sector has led to women's needs often being ignored. As suppliers, the energy sector has traditionally been male dominated. Despite stark gender differences in the energy sector, there has been a lack of evidence to inform more equitable policymaking. This issue of the IDS Bulletin aims to fill some of these evidence gaps through five original papers, part of ENERGIA's Gender and Energy Research Programme. The issue pays particular attention to women's involvement in the supply chain as energy entrepreneurs, an emerging area of research in the gender and energy space."
"The following report builds upon desk research as well as key observations from the workshop, "Financing Renewable Energy in South East Asia" workshop held in Phnom Penh in December, 2017. The event was an opportunity to address the current challenges entrepreneurs face when trying to access finance in SEA (with a geographic focus on Cambodia and Myanmar). We hope that this work will educate entrepreneurs on the type of financing available to them as well as serve as a reference for donors on why certain financing schemes are relevant and more successful in the RE sector and in the SEA region."
"In this paper, we carry out a literature review of the studies investigating the factors that affect the performance and growth of clean technology start-up firms. The importance of clean-tech start-ups lies in their mission to protect the environment by facilitating the increased use of clean energy and environmentally friendly solutions. At the same time, the entrepreneurial nature of many of these firms enables introduction of radical innovations necessary for making breakthroughs in the industries of renewable energy and environmental technology that in turn are essential for the industry development. Given their significance, there are surprisingly few studies with the focus on the factors affecting the growth of clean-tech start-ups. Our search in leading management, entrepreneurship and energy journals has yielded a total of 13 articles, almost all of which focus on such external factors as policies. We argue that this gives us an incomplete picture of the factors enabling a clean-tech firm's development. As clean-tech firms are a subset of the population of new technology-based firms (NTBFs), we draw on the literature dealing with the factors that promote growth of NTBFs in order to build our framework for structuring the results. The analysis uncovers what future research areas can be pursued in order to gain a more balanced understanding of what enables the development of a clean-tech start-up. We suggest that in addition to the macro-studies of policies and regulations, future research needs to examine the individual and firm-specific factors, e.g. characteristics of the clean-tech entrepreneurs, teams, governance mechanisms and network structures. Furthermore, the existing focus on the environmental and innovative performance of clean-tech start-ups should be complemented by examining the alternative firm outcomes related to e.g. financial performance, social identity, alliance portfolio and internationalization."