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Micro-enterprise development

Micro-enterprises have a significant role to play in expanding energy access. They can be a source of jobs and income growth in rural areas, where it is difficult to create income outside the agriculture sector.

Not only do they create jobs themselves but they also offer products and services that can help other businesses grow.

We are one of the very few organisations that support micro-enterprises in the energy sector. We work with hundreds of these businesses, helping them to grow, linking them to others in the supply chain and helping them access finance. We work with them to build their capacity and, in doing so, strengthen the “last mile” delivery chain for energy access.

We also help them to hone their business skills and develop their market awareness and customer care practices, as well as provide technology support and promote knowledge-sharing and research so they can increase their effectiveness.

The enterprises we have supported include production and distribution of biomass briquettes; production and distribution of improved cookstoves; mobile phone charging using solar-enabled products; and development of electricity generation using pico-hydro systems.

Helping a solar phone-charging firm expand

There is huge demand for solar phone-charging services in remote areas, far from the electricity grid. One business in Tanzania tapped into this demand and, with support from Energy 4 Impact, has expanded into selling and installing solar energy systems.