We support businesses which operate on mini-grids and beyond the grid to acquire electrical appliances by creating tailored financing facilities or partnerships with equipment providers. This can make appliances more available to customers who are typically too remote to have access to appliances at all, and who may have incomes that make upfront cash purchases very difficult.
In Senegal our advice is enabling women involved in traditional agricultural practices to diversify their sources of income and set up new sustainable economic activities using solar refrigeration. Manio Keita and her women’s group have been providing juice to the village of Dialacoto, East Senegal, since 2012. “We had to pay extra costs to buy ice to keep it fresh. Under this heat it obviously melted fast, so we had to move our products very quickly,” says Manio.
Thanks to a partnership between Energy 4 Impact, solar fridge supplier Bonergie and MFI Caurie Microfinance, the group was able to buy a solar-powered fridge on credit. Seventy-five percent of the cost of the equipment was available as a loan, making the equipment more affordable.
“The fridge has been installed and we are already seeing an increase in our sales. We now have effective storage and no longer run out of products when clients show up at the shop,” says Manio. Our business mentors worked closely with the women to develop effective business plans and grow their sales to make sure they can comfortably pay back the loan. The product supplier also benefits from the use of consumer credit to increase the demand for its product.