It’s going to take years for utilities’ grids to reach remote villages in Africa, if they ever do. Standalone solar home systems are filling some of the gap. But in many cases local “mini-grids” that can power businesses, schools and other loads are the least-cost option with the broadest social and economic benefits. Investors put
- The non-profit organization, which specializes in small farmer financing, has built a client network of 600,000 farmers in sub-Saharan Africa
- Ugandan startup Tugende launched in 2013 to help motorcycle taxi, or “boda,” drivers finance the purchase of a motorcycle
- The NGO works to address extreme poverty in rural Africa by cultivating and supporting local entrepreneurship
- The Harare, Zimbabwe-based company sells pay-as-you-go solar home systems for the majority of Zimbabwe’s 15.6 million citizens who live off the grid
- ZOLA will use the funds to deliver off-grid energy to 25,000 new customers and improve energy access for 500,000 households by 2021.
Informal retail is a major hub of economic activity on the African continent.