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  • Briquettes brought closer to Ugandan customers | GVEP International
    GVEP s market development activities the Uganda team has supported two briquette enterprises Masupa Enterprises and Best of Waste Ltd to open stalls in Wandegeya Market one of the biggest permanent markets in Kampala Most briquette producers are reluctant to face the upfront cost of renting a stall to sell their products in markets instead preferring to wait for customers to come to their production premises often in the outskirts of the city GVEP has supported the businesses by advancing a down payment for two months rent UGX 150 000 month each 41 25 estimating that increased sales through the opening of the outlets would enable the enterprises to take over rental costs after that Through these new selling points the entrepreneurs now have the opportunity to make use of a large commercial hub to sell their products outside of their local business domains hence expanding sales and contributing to the growth of their enterprises On just the first day of the market launch the two businesses managed to sell a combined amount of 99kgs of stick briquettes 2kgs of honeycomb briquettes and 12 improved cookstoves Whereas Masupa Enterprises used to sell an average of 300kgs a month UGX 300 000 82 they are now achieving a minimum of 650kgs UGX 650 000 177 Best of Waste Ltd has also considerably increased sales from 100kgs month to 250kgs UGX 250 000 68 Both businesses are now factoring the hiring cost into their budget and have accordingly set targets for the sales staff manning the stalls On top of increased sales and expanding services to more customers these stalls have also generated employment for several sales staff to be on the premises throughout the week and on the weekend explains Joel Essien Business Mentor at GVEP International in Uganda Masupa Enterprises

    Original URL path: http://www.ashdenawards.organdwww.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/briquettes-brought-closer-ugandan-customers (2016-02-16)
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  • Strong family relations playing key role in energy micro-enterprises in Tanzania | GVEP International
    regarded as a male dominated field in Tanzania She started by charging mobile phones using a car battery but made the switch to solar upon being recruited into a GVEP micro enterprise development programme Some business and technology training along with access to appropriate enterprise financing transformed her business in just a few years Ruth also stresses that she owes her success to the support she received from her husband in running the business once she had received the loan My husband and I jointly run our different businesses although I am the one registered under the GVEP programme In fact he sometimes attends the business and technology mentorship sessions when I am held up with other things or attending to domestic chores she says at her business premises situated in Misungwi District on the shores of Lake Victoria The couple now complement each other in running their enterprises and have equal accessibility to their business and financial resources We make collective decisions on any matter related to our businesses just like we do with our domestic issues I also put to practice the technical skills learned from the mentorship sessions to solve some of the technical challenges that emerge explains Thomas Bulegi Ruth s husband GVEP s Tanzania Country Manager Adam Mbwambo explains that most women led businesses face multiple challenges especially where the man the household head is not supportive There are cases where women must have their husband s approval to apply for bank loans or to use matrimonial properties as collateral Some men even take charge of the income generated by their wives efforts This leads to squabbles over property with some even ending in divorce he says In Tanzania we have worked with the husbands of potential women entrepreneurs to secure their support so that their wives can participate in the programme We also ensure that our training approaches and methodologies ensure active participation and address different needs in order to engage both men and women effectively explains Adam The programme supported Ruth in acquiring extensive business acumen which she says has enabled her to develop her business professionally I benefitted greatly from GVEP s capacity building initiatives that included localised training on book keeping and financial management interactive workshops as well as mentoring networking with other businesses visits to market places and exposure to the experiences of successful businesses she says Ruth s promising business was taken to the next level when it was selected into the Capital Access for Renewable Energy Enterprises CARE2 programme which nurtures businesses with potential to scale up GVEP supported me in accessing a loan of Tsh 3 000 000 1 610 from Wadoki Saccos which I used to purchase solar equipment and to renovate my business premises I managed to steadily repay the amount on time and was even able to top up the loan with Tsh 5 000 000 2 683 which I used to expand my business and conduct further renovations she says Apart from her

    Original URL path: http://www.ashdenawards.organdwww.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/strong-family-relations-playing-key-role-energy-micro-enterprises-tanzania (2016-02-16)
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  • The cookstove revolution sweeping through Ugandan schools | GVEP International
    firewood reached 938 per term John Lule head cook of the school attended an improved institutional cookstoves sensitisation workshop convened by GVEP International During this meeting GVEP s staff inducted the participants on the stoves effectiveness and efficiency while stove makers were also invited to demonstrate the technical aspects of the stoves GVEP partners with a number of cookstove makers throughout the country that are then introduced to institutions such as schools to insure provision of high quality instalments products and maintenance After Cornestone had proceeded to have two efficient cookstoves constructed in their junior school they were so impressed by the benefits that they resolved to order an additional two sets for their primary section They are also planning on purchasing two more with the 469 per term they now save on firewood consumption This amount of wood fuel sufficiently caters for 1 167 students 60 teachers and 32 support staff explains Anne Kissa school administrator The cooks are now happy because they work in a clean and healthy environment They no longer complain about chest congestions and irritated eyes caused by the toxic gases from burning firewood The time saved on cooking is now spent on other chores said the head cook adding that his team has also benefitted from the training on best stove use and maintenance practices Parents are also praising this initiative saying it has improved hygiene and safety at the school and a safer and conducive learning environment for their children I encourage other schools to adopt these improved cookstoves as the stoves come with numerous economic and health benefits Moreover we feel we are contributing to save our country s forests said Anne The uptake of these cookstoves has however not been easy owing to financial challenges being faced by the schools Most

    Original URL path: http://www.ashdenawards.organdwww.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/cookstove-revolution-sweeping-through-ugandan-schools (2016-02-16)
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  • New challenge awards $40,000 for the best solution to recycling LPG cylinders in Africa | GVEP International
    technologies for development is launching a call for proposals for high value alternative uses for substandard cylinders so that they can be recycled and removed from LPG distribution channels The winning ideas will be awarded 40 000 Liquefied Petroleum Gas LPG is a clean burning portable and efficient fuel that is increasingly used in many developing countries for cooking and heating However the existence of a large number of aging cylinders constitutes a worrying safety hazard due to lack of maintenance putting populations in danger and ultimately hinding the growth of a successful LPG market Ideas to Impact is calling all challenge solvers to put forward ideas for creative and high value applications for recycling the LPG cylinders that bring about safety environmental economic e g job creation and social benefits The proposals will be evaluated by a judging panel composed of LPG and energy access experts with a final decision being made by the Ideas to Impact Consortium The Consortium aims to grant up to 4 awards from a total prize pool of 40 000 for the solutions that meet the success criteria Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11 59 PM US Eastern Time on September

    Original URL path: http://www.ashdenawards.organdwww.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/new-challenge-awards-40000-best-solution-recycling-lpg-cylinders-africa (2016-02-16)
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  • SteamaCo and BURN among the winners of the 2015 Ashden Award | GVEP International
    of the key barriers to making micro grids commercially feasible and sustainable Lake Victoria s fishing villages and other rural communities in Kenya are benefiting from clean light and power for the first time thanks to renewable energy micro grids Using the natural energy of the sun they work like mini power stations for each village supplying enough energy to run small businesses as well as power TVs radios and bright lights in the home Solar power in East Africa is not new but what s exciting about SteamaCo is the technology behind it the micro grids use an innovative cloud based remote metering and payments system that monitors energy use lets people pay for power using their mobile phones and quickly troubleshoots any problems With around 80 of Kenyans lacking access to mains electricity SteamaCo is helping to bring the benefits of clean energy to increasing numbers of off grid customers SteamaCo s technology can also be used to remotely monitor and control the usage of electricity fuel and water in other applications allowing businesses to better manage their energy assets GVEP is supporting SteamCo in raising capital by introducing them to a number of investors and advising them on their business plan and pitching strategies The Ashden Award for Clean Energy for Women and Girls went to BURN Manufacturing the first company to manufacturer cookstoves in country at scale Through their factory in Nairobi they employ a large number of women enabling them to increase their economic independence and improve their position in society BURN s charcoal burning Jikokoa stove dramatically improves the health and wellbeing of its users As well as being an aspirational household product it cuts down on smoke and soot by more than 60 compared to the widely used Kenya ceramic jiko and significantly

    Original URL path: http://www.ashdenawards.organdwww.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/steamaco-and-burn-among-winners-2015-ashden-award (2016-02-16)
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  • Clean technology innovator powering off-grid lake island | GVEP International
    dropped and rebranded to PowerGen in 2013 PowerGen has so far installed 24 solar micro grids with a total capacity of over 70 kW 22 in Kenya and 2 in Tanzania Their goal is to accelerate rural electrification by providing off grid communities with lasting energy infrastructures using a pay as you go model The company installs solar generation systems in the heart of communities and extends the grid to surrounding homes and businesses Each customer pays a nominal connection fee and receives a board for their house that includes a breaker a light bulb and an outlet Customers wishing to connect to the micro grid pay a small on off fee of 10 merely a small fraction of the 350 700 that users are required to pay to be connected to the national grid Just as with the national grid users they can operate several appliances at a time explains PowerGen s Chief Operations Officer Eve Meyer The smart meters allow customers to pre pay for electricity using mobile money and check their energy balance through their mobile phones When the users units run out a notification message is sent directly to their phones from which they can top up The meters store the usage data as well as the voltage and temperature of the batteries in the cloud allowing PowerGen to monitor the entire system remotely says Meyer In October 2013 PowerGen was selected for support by the Kenya Climate Innovation Center KCIC a partnership providing incubation capacity building and financing services to Kenyan entrepreneurs that are developing innovative solutions in the energy water and agribusiness sector to address climate change challenges Besides receiving financial support the company was assisted in identifying potential micro grid sites across the country GVEP one of the KCIC s partners has been providing them with financial advice and micro grid development support In July 2014 PowerGen identified Kiwa Island a small island about 500 metres off the shore of Lake Victoria in Homa Bay County Kenya as a viable site for a micro grid Kiwa Island is not connected to the national grid even though the nearby town of Ndhiwa has power Logistical challenges of getting the national grid to the island means Kiwa is not likely to get power in the near future just like most far flung areas in Kenya Having power for the first time has transformed the lives of the local inhabitants Among them is 26 year old George Otieno who runs an entertainment business Since establishing his business in 2014 he has been forced to close early in spite of the swelling clientele due to unreliable power supply His fortune changed when he got connected to PowerGen s micro grid When I started this business I bought an 80W solar panel and battery to power a music system and keep it running at night Since I also run a bar most of my clients come in after work to wind down after a long day of work

    Original URL path: http://www.ashdenawards.organdwww.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/clean-technology-innovator-powering-grid-lake-island (2016-02-16)
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  • Rwandan couple joins forces to provide their community with energy services | GVEP International
    travel long distances to recharge the batteries just wasn t viable Since receiving business development and technology mentoring in 2014 Vincent decided to invest his savings into a solar panel to boost his business s productivity This enabled him to charge 30 more phones per day and increase his income from 1500 to 4500 Rwf daily 2 to 6 5 Motivated by the success of this investment he decided to expand and diversify his services by opening a modern hair cutting salon and barber shop the first of their kind in the community He also involved his wife in the process by inviting her to attend GVEP run gender sensitization meetings and business and technology trainings with him Now that my husband has shared his skills in business development with me I feel confident in running our shop while he explores other opportunities for us to expand explains Mutesi Vincent s wife GVEP s team trained the couple in record keeping and business performance monitoring all the while raising awareness on the productive uses of energy and business sustainability Mutesi is now fully in charge of the solar phone charging and hair cutting business while Vincent is developing agricultural activities in the area With the money earned from their business Vincent and Mutesi bought two parcels of land in the community one on which they are building a house that will serve as both a home and a business outlet and another one for growing coffee cabbage and eggplants Through this new activity Vincent has created employment in the area by hiring 2 farmers to work the land I am very grateful for the support I received and now wish to share my success with others whether it is my wife who has now acquired new skills or others in

    Original URL path: http://www.ashdenawards.organdwww.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/rwandan-couple-joins-forces-provide-their-community-energy-services (2016-02-16)
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  • Ideas to Impact presents at EU Dev Days | GVEP International
    04 Jun 2015 The Ideas to Impact team hosted a panel discussion or project lab at the EU s annual Development Days event in Brussels on June 3rd 4th European Development Days provides a unique opportunity for donors practitioners and policy makers to share ideas benchmark best practices and learn from the latest innovations that improve the impact and effectiveness of aid Representatives from IMC Worldwide Tremolet Consulting GVEP International and the Institute of Development Studies focussed discussion on initial findings and lessons learnt from the implementation of Ideas to Impact The Ideas to Impact team debated the issues around whether and how innovation prizes can be used to find sustainable solutions for intractable problems facing low income consumers particularly in the areas of water and sanitation energy access and climate change adaptation Simon Collings Director of Learning and Innovation at GVEP spoke about challenges in energy access being mainly political and financial rather than technological He went on to describe a number of innovation prizes designed to support implementation of possible policy changes in the LPG sector in Ghana Simon is the author of the paper Stimulating Solutions to Energy Access Through the Use of Innovation Prizes published by

    Original URL path: http://www.ashdenawards.organdwww.gvepinternational.org/en/business/news/ideas-impact-presents-eu-dev-days (2016-02-16)
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