Opportunity - COVID-19 Energy Access Relief Fund
- Humanitarian Energy
- Climate Change
- Energy Efficiency
- Financing and Business Models
In the last decade, energy access firms have made remarkable progress in mitigating climate change and reaching people, businesses and social institutions with low carbon energy, especially those who are operating out of sub-Saharan Africa and many parts of Asia. But, that progress is now hindered and could possibly be reversed because of COVID-19 related disruptions. Even after 1.5 years after the onset of COVID, it has become evident that companies are facing problems because of intermittent lockdowns and its resultant economic fallout, and supply chains disruptions. As a result, many companies are seeing reduced sales and collections, increasing cost of goods, limited cash reserves, and tightening funding resources. Intended to save the gains made by the energy access sector in the last decade, the Energy Access Relief Fund is mandated to support those energy access companies that are facing disruptions caused by COVID.
Energy Access Relief Fund
The Energy Access Relief Fund (EARF) has been designed to provide up to 3.5-year tenure, subordinated,unsecured, and low-cost subsidized loans to companies companies that had viable business models prior to COVID and that are facing liquidity challenges due to COVID-19. The fund intends to focus on the smaller to mid- sized energy access companies that are addressing the needs of the bottom of the pyramid consumers and expects to make about 100-110 loans. While the fund will seek to be as inclusive as possible, its primary focus is expected to be on loans of less than $1M, within a range of $50K to $2.5M.
Since January 2021 – in advance of the first closing of the fund – SIMA has started providing loans to small and medium sized borrowers, supported by several key donors. However, since September 1, 2021, the official date of launch of the Energy Access Relief Fund, SIMA has been actively pursuing applications from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia Pacific. As of end of November 2021, the Energy Access Relief Fund has approved relief funding to 38 companies across 14 countries.
With over hundreds of applications received so far and still counting, SIMA has innovated the underwriting process of the EARF such that the EARF loans can be provided to the borrowers in the least possible time. The fastest loan that we have disbursed has been in 7 weeks since the day of start of the Due Diligence. The application process is designed to have two phases, in which the applicants are evaluated against eligibility and underwriting criteria.Further details with application criteria: https://simafunds.com/fund-management/earf/