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  • Energy gap in Senegal offers new business opportunities for solar charging enterprises | GVEP International
    facilitating the access to finance through the loan guarantee fund Furthermore GVEP plan to train local electricians so that technical issues and damaged equipment often caused by transportation and heavy rain can be fixed quickly and at affordable prices to ensure that entrepreneurs do not have to abandon their businesses as they cannot afford the repairs In Senegal there are two principal methods by which entrepreneurs are running charging stations either from their homes or at Loumas traditional markets Mr Abadoulaye Diop is one entrepreneur who in the last year has seen his small business go from strength to strength and now boasts a monthly turnover of 280 000 CFA Francs USD 580 I provide a solar charging service to the whole village before they had to travel over 34km to Tambacounda to charge their telephones I started my business after securing a loan and now offer a number of different services hairdressing laptop charging motorcycle battery charging and also charging for small lamps Villagers no longer need to spend hours travelling long distances to charge their phones or equipment Mr Diop Solar charging stations are thriving within the Loumas entrepreneurs transport wooden panels that have between 40 50 plug sockets to these markets in carts Villagers from the surrounding areas arrive with phones motorcycles laptops and other small battery dependent devices Entrepreneurs have capitalized on popular national sporting and wrestling events televised in Senegal and those wanting to charge their phones pay a small fee to watch the event whilst their phones charge Entrepreneurs can earn 100 FCFA 20 US cents per seat and 100 FCFA to charge the phones doubling potential profit Furthermore entrepreneurs can power small fridges and sell bags of ice for 10x the amount that they are sold for in the capital Dakar Mr Aliou

    Original URL path: http://yds.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/energy-gap-senegal-offers-new-business-opportunities-solar-charging-enterprises (2016-02-16)
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  • A 40,000km train journey through Africa unveils sustainable energy initiatives | GVEP International
    promote positive initiatives in the energy sector throughout the continent Two years after the initial idea was created Claire Guibert and Jeremy Debreu s inspiring 40 000km journey Africa Express has been completed and is ready to be shared in the form of a 26min web documentary and white paper both available to watch and download online Claire and Jeremy set out to expand knowledge and understanding of energy efficiency economic and sustainable development in 22 African countries Their aim was to showcase the progress that has already been made as well as the continuing efforts in creating successful sustainable energy projects within developing countries GVEP assisted the Africa Express team in selecting 25 projects to visit 3 of which were entrepreneurs supported by GVEP via the Developing Energy Enterprises Project DEEP An initiative launched in 2008 aiming to provide energy products and services to rural and periurban areas in Kenya Uganda and Tanzania Africa Express visited Fausta Ntara an improved cookstoves entrepreneur in Tanzania producing and supplying stoves to households wholesalers schools and hospitals She started her business in 2003 and received training in management record keeping and planning after enrolling in the DEEP programme In Kenya they met Patrick Mwangi a trained aircraft technician who produces and sells biomass briquettes as well as briquette producing machines He received training from GVEP in record keeping marketing and business planning his business mentor visits him on a monthly basis They also visited Margret Kisakye the founder and manager of Sano Briquette Manufacturers which produces biomass briquettes She enrolled in the programme in 2009 and now employs two part time and two permanent employees To increase her revenue and client base she gives free samples to potential customers and also goes house to house to talk about her briquettes Africa Express

    Original URL path: http://yds.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/40000km-train-journey-through-africa-unveils-sustainable-energy-initiatives (2016-02-16)
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  • Empowering women in business | GVEP International
    GVEP has worked over the last five years with 400 female led businesses from briquette producers and improved cookstoves retailers to phone charging operators and distributors of solar products Women face significantly more barriers than men due to discriminatory cultural norms that limit their opportunity to receive formal education and business training to move around freely and therefore to have access to networks of market actors But perhaps one of the biggest barriers is accessing finance GVEP targeted this issue by creating a loan guarantee scheme that promotes lending by underwriting the risk for local financial institutions that are offering credit to micro and small energy businesses The scheme allowed women under the DEEP programme to borrow necessary funds to invest into their businesses We found that women have better credit repayment records than men as they tend to default less often This is due to their experience with local savings schemes the merry go round scheme is an example in which women borrow small amounts and support each other to make repayments But also women tend to have a stronger commitment to using the loans for their intended purposes GVEP s support to women led businesses hasn t been limited to securing financial availability We have provided technical and business training marketing and networking support being mindful to arrange the meetings around women s availability encouraging the attendance of a male representative and of other members of the family to look after the children One of the programmes successes is Ms Fausta Ntara a female entrepreneur in Mwanza Tanzania whose cook stove business continues to grow from strength to strength She was given support and training by GVEP helping her acquire vital business skills such as management record keeping financial planning as well as access to GVEP s Loan

    Original URL path: http://yds.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/empowering-women-business (2016-02-16)
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  • Clean energy businesses make their mark at Kenyan trade fairs | GVEP International
    Agricultural Society of Kenya the fairs offered great marketing opportunities to small businesses by showcasing their products to potential buyers It also provided an opening to network with suppliers of technologies and raw materials furthermore it enabled these entrepreneurs to measure themselves on sale and quality assurance strategies with their competitors Three of the largest fairs were held in Mombasa Coast region Nyeri Central Kenya and in the capital city of Nairobi The Nairobi International Trade Fair which ran from September 30th to October 6th 2013 saw many show goers purchase products from entrepreneurs at the GVEP stand According to Mr Maurice Onzere GVEP s Business Services Coordinator entrepreneurs sharpened marketing skills created business links and sold items to the value of 8 500 at the events One of the attenders who saw his orders increasing following a TV interview is Mr Said Twahir Manager of Kencoco Ltd Mr Twahir uses coconut shells husks and other biomass materials which are abundantly available in the coast regions of Kenya to produce briquettes After being aired on Kenya Broadcasting Co operation I have received many phone calls from people making orders for briquettes One of such is to export over 40 tons of briquettes a month to Mauritius I m now planning to expand my workshop and hire more staff to cater for the demand said the Kencoco Manager Speaking to journalists at the Nairobi trade fair Mr James Wakaba GVEP s Africa Regional Manager urged the public to adopt cleaner and more modern forms of energy technologies for both household and institutional use The businesses we sponsored to attend this trade shows have developed quality and reliable products for a competitive market Today they are giving the public the opportunity to see for themselves the benefits to be had from these

    Original URL path: http://yds.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/clean-energy-businesses-make-their-mark-kenyan-trade-fairs (2016-02-16)
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  • A new report assesses the briquette market in Kenya | GVEP International
    biomass wood and charcoal Biomass fuels are also used for many institutional commercial and industrial applications such as cooking in hotels and restaurants space heating for poultry farmers and heating applications in industrial boilers Biomass briquettes are a form of solid fuel that can be burned for energy and may offer an alternative fuel for many of these applications Briquettes have the potential to be a source of renewable energy if they are made from sustainably harvested biomass or agricultural residues Recognising the potential of this technology GVEP is supporting briquette entrepreneurs through its Capital Access for Renewable Energy Enterprises CARE2 project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency Sida The project aims to improve capital access in the renewable energy markets across four countries in East Africa In Kenya GVEP aims to work with producers of biomass briquettes amongst other business to increase the quality and uptake of this alternative fuel This assessment was conducted to gain a better understanding of the businesses operating in the biomass briquette sector and the type of interventions that are required to inform the programme moving forward The study also reviewed other initiatives taking place in the sector in Kenya The assessment was conducted by Mareco Limited a business consultancy and financial services company during May and June this year It identified over 70 entrepreneurs who either are have in the past or will in the near future engage in commercial briquetting activity in Kenya with 35 such enterprises interviewed for this assessment The report analyses the businesses and initiatives that are operating in the biomass briquette sector in Kenya and examines current trends in areas such as feedstock used machinery used and markets being accessed In addition the assessment identified some of the main challenges and opportunities for briquette business in

    Original URL path: http://yds.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/new-report-assesses-briquette-market-kenya (2016-02-16)
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  • GVEP is expanding its activities in Rwanda | GVEP International
    work with public sector bodies to create a favourable environment for small and medium energy enterprises SMEs Specifically our Rwandan projects focus on two key technologies hydropower and solar lighting So far GVEP has assisted two mini hydropower projects to carry out technical site assessments feasibility studies business plans and financial modeling with funding from the Russian Government through the World Bank For 2 years GVEP has been supporting private sector hydropower developers importers and distributors of solar lighting products in close collaboration with the Energy Water and Sanitation Authority EWSA in the country Rwanda has highly ambitious targets for rural electrification Most of this will come from off grid solutions supplied by private enterprises With a growing office and additional staff GVEP will be in a good position to facilitate this market and contribute significantly to access to modern energy in the country Says David Disch GVEP s Country Manager in Rwanda With additional financial backing from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency Sida and USAID GVEP is now able to offer business and technical training for small businesses and micro entrepreneurs We advise entrepreneurs about access to capital so they can invest in simple energy products and services for business start ups such as mobile phone charging and solar light distribution Another aspect of our work focusses on helping such businesses to market their products more effectively and develop a dealer network for low cost off grid lighting solutions An estimated 270 Rwandan micro entrepreneurs will be supported in this way to grow their businesses In partnership with Azuri the leading experts in low cost solar technologies and recent Ashden International Awards winners GVEP will spearhead the distribution of pay as you go home lighting systems to remote off grid regions which are currently un or under served

    Original URL path: http://yds.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/gvep-expanding-its-activities-rwanda (2016-02-16)
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  • Entrepreneurs benefit from mechanized briquette making machines in Kenya | GVEP International
    percent USD 55 to the cost of the machine while the Rotary Club covered the remaining 60 percent USD 83 of the cost This guarantees the sustainability of the program and ensures that the entrepreneurs retain ownership of their business and are fully committed to it Mr James Mailu GVEP s Country Manager says At GVEP we always ensure that all our interventions are user led user managed and user financed to ensure sustainability We tried to customize the Rotary Club grant to this approach and it was well received by the entrepreneurs said Mr Mailu The majority of entrepreneurs had been manufacturing the briquettes by hand while some used improvised tools or borrowed manual machines to produce briquettes Mr Ramson Hinzano from Mombasa one of the project s beneficiaries acquired a manual machine and has been able to double his briquettes production going from 60kg briquettes per week to 128kg Mr Hinzano employed three people in his business and makes sales of Ksh 20 480 per month USD 234 With this new machine acquired with the grant alongside GVEP s support he has trained 462 individuals in briquette production across the Coast region Briquettes made from compressed charcoal waste agricultural residues or sawdust are a low cost alternative to using firewood charcoal or kerosene Compared to traditional biofuels they burn for longer produce less harmful smoke and since they use recycled biomass lead to a reduction in deforestation For the last five years through its Developing Energy Enterprises programme GVEP has supported businesses operating in the biomass briquette sector in East Africa Our experience in this field demonstrates that micro businesses face challenges in scaling up production of briquettes when using just their hands for production This is why the mechanization and use of modern production techniques is vital

    Original URL path: http://yds.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/entrepreneurs-benefit-mechanized-briquette-making-machines-kenya (2016-02-16)
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  • GVEP supports Ugandan solar companies with access to capital | GVEP International
    GVEP has mobilized over 150 million Ugandan Shillings US 57 700 to provide loan guarantees and business training to over 60 individuals In Uganda nine loan guarantee agreements have been implemented with five financial institutions of varying sizes and budgets As a result these institutions have lent to energy entrepreneurs a good first step towards transforming the capital market for small scale energy delivery in Uganda Approximately one quarter of all companies benefiting from the scheme have secured more than one loan This has enabled them to diversify their businesses and become more sustainable as providers of affordable energy in Uganda SolarNow a retailer selling solar home systems is an example of a business which has benefited from GVEP s support SolarNow sells high quality solar home systems ranging from 50Wp Watts peak to 500Wp and offers its customers the ability to pay over time using a 12 month hire purchase consumer finance facility The company implemented this hire purchase facility because it had previously been unsuccessful in developing effective partnerships with local micro finance institutions MFIs GVEP helped SolarNow conduct a pilot study to test this hire purchase approach which led to their transformation of what was then called Rural Energy Foundation and operated as a non profit organisation to SolarNow a for profit social enterprise GVEP s support also contributed to the establishment of the hire purchase facility which SolarNow calls the PayPlan GVEP gave Rural Energy Foundation a grant to explore the viability of setting up a hire purchase scheme for solar energy systems says Julius Magala Regional Manager for SolarNow This pilot was an immediate success and we decided to bring it to scale The GVEP support triggered the start of SolarNow says Julius Furthermore once SolarNow was more established as a social enterprise GVEP provided

    Original URL path: http://yds.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/ugandan-solar-companies-benefit-gvep-support-and-access-capital (2016-02-16)
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