Opportunity - 2022 Call for Applications: SADC Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Support Facility

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2022 Call for Applications: SADC Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Support Facility
Financial: ()
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Renewable Energy

In the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Indian Ocean region, renewable energy entrepreneurs are at the forefront of efforts to extend access to modern energy services as they are often the best placed to offer tailor-made local solutions. Such entrepreneurs, however, face serious challenges including those related to business management and operations, as well as bringing their innovative ideas to fruition. To overcome some of these challenges and strengthen the capacity of SADC-based renewable energy entrepreneurs, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) established the Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship (Technical) Support Facility (ESF) in SADC Region in April 2017.

The Facility serves as a technical support and mentorship platform to address some of the challenges experienced by the entrepreneurs, specifically, to enhance and strengthen the capacity of small-to-medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) in assessing the business potential of sustainable energy, developing viable business plans and funding requests, managing and maintaining their businesses successfully. Furthermore, the Facility also aims to increase the confidence of financial institutions in sustainable energy systems and create linkages between the entrepreneurs and financial institutions.

Since its establishment, the Technical Facility has successfully trained 65 entrepreneurs in two cohorts (32 in Cohort 1 and 33 entrepreneurs in Cohort 2). The participants greatly benefited from the Facility’ training, mentorship and networking activities. The Facility has gained a lot of traction and interest from the SMEs and stakeholders regionally and internationally. However, enterprises from Indian Ocean islands as well as those that are women-led or managed have been underrepresented.

The Facility has now managed to secure additional grant support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) under the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) to scale its implementation, with particular focus on women and youth led enterprises. With additional funding from IRENA, the Facility has expanded to include participation from Indian Ocean islands.