Our approach

As opposed to the traditional aid model, we believe in a private sector approach to development, utilizing donor funding to help businesses succeed and grow. These businesses collectively shape markets that are able to deliver products and services to Base of Pyramid (BoP) consumers who need them most.

We believe these markets will ultimately operate without donor-funded interventions, and have the potential to deliver in quantities and in a manner sustainable over a long period of time, in excess of anything the donor community can deliver.

We call our focus on supporting the development of business models to deliver energy access the enterprise approach, and believe it will result in long-lasting change and sustainable results. Further, we believe the enterprise approach to energy access is key because while utilities play an important role, and will continue to do so, extension of the national grid is not always cost effective or feasible.

And this will remain the case for many consumers.

According to the IEA, approximately 40% of the new electricity provision required for universal access over the next 15 years is likely through grid extension.

The remaining 60% is the natural domain of small and medium enterprises which use distributed, renewable technologies. This is the sector that we support.


We provide energy businesses some of the enabling resources they need to grow including:

Technology
We train entrepreneurs in business planning, sales and marketing, and record keeping. We provide specialized advisory services to larger businesses to support strategic and financial planning, supply chain and operational management, and project development and financing.

Skills
We provide technology-related training and advice, assistance with product sourcing and manufacturing, and offer advice and funding for innovation contest winners that are developing new technologies or applying existing technologies in new contexts.

Capital
We work with financial institutions, investors and donors to help them better understand the local energy sector, including its technologies and business models. We also work with entrepreneurs to improve their ability to secure funding. In certain cases, we provide capital directly in the form of loan guarantees and grants.

Delivery network
We leverage deep and broad sector knowledge to facilitate partnerships amongst a wide range of market participants including governments and regulators, consultants, service providers, equipment suppliers, and distributors.