GVEP partners with Sida to manage a USD7 million programme focusing on energy businesses in East Africa

GVEP has just reached agreement with Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, to manage the CARE2 project, a USD7million programme to improve capital access in the renewable energy markets, across four countries in East Africa.

In low-income countries, on average 46% of businesses with less than 20 employees and 43% of businesses with 20 to 99 employees rate access to finance, or cost of finance, as a major constraint to current operations. A 2011 GVEP study shows that 61% of the micro entrepreneurs interviewed said that lack of capital was one of their main business challenges.

The Capital Access for Renewable Energy Enterprises (CARE2) project wants to tackle this major issue through a combination of interventions designed to increase both the supply of capital to businesses, and their capacity to deploy that capital effectively. This would be achieved by supporting them with access to information and expertise about matters such as general business functions, technology, supply chains, etc.

By supporting the creation and growth of energy-focused micro, small and medium sized enterprises in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, the overall objective of the project is to contribute to the growth of a sustained market for renewable energy by:  Improving conditions for poor people to participate in growth, market development and entrepreneurship.
Increasing the availability of sustainable, affordable and appropriate energy services to those unserved or underserved.
Improving the position of women both in the jobs market and at home.

Enhancing environmental sustainability.This geographic scope will be supported by GVEP’s current presence and experience in the region.

GVEP will work at three levels to reach the expected outcomes of this programme. This will include a Technical Assistance Facility, providing advice to businesses seeking capital, a significant extension to our Loan Guarantee Activities, and a number of sector focused enterprise development projects, such as improved cookstoves, solar, solar phone charging businesses, etc.

Women should especially benefit from this program, as one of its priorities is to address gender issues. As the burden of inadequate energy access falls disproportionately on women, a project that helps improve energy access will disproportionately benefit them. Furthermore, GVEP’s experience suggests that women are increasingly participating in e-MSME business opportunities.

This agreement will reinforce GVEP’s impact in the region, where the organisation has been implementing various programmes, such as the DEEP or ESME programmes and the Climate Innovation Centre, that seek to reduce poverty by supporting Energy SMEs.

The programme has already started its mobilisation phase. Any entrepreneurs or businesses who believe it may be of value to them should get in touch via the GVEP website at: www.gvepinternational.org/en/submit-your-business-concept

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