Whilst technology trends such as decreasing product costs and PAYG/mobile banking are transforming poor people’s purchasing power and energy markets, the poorest still face real challenges accessing energy products and services. The “last mile” of distribution is still challenging. To counter this, Energy 4 Impact is pioneering new strategies and initiatives.
In Senegal, we have created partnerships with energy product suppliers to expand their reach into rural areas. To help these suppliers build cost-effective distribution networks in the last mile of rural areas, we proposed training groups of local women to retail the products. As a result, we have created a new network of women distribution agents for lower cost PAYG solar home systems in a remote region of the country.
We have also have designed a supplier’s credit guarantee that allows groups of women entrepreneurs to purchase pico-solar products and improved cookstoves on credit and to extend that credit to customers. The business model is based on women placing bulk orders of products with the supplier, who requires 25% of the value in cash and the remaining 75% within 60 days.