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Innovative Financing Facility Supports 18 Productive Use Companies in Africa

The Productive Use Financing Facility provides procurement subsidies and capacity-building grants to 18 small and medium-sized companies selling productive use appliances (PUAs) in East, West and Central Africa.

Lisa Kahuthu

18 Small and medium-sized companies selling productive use appliances (PUAs) were selected by the Productive Use Financing Facility to receive procurement subsidies and capacity-building grants.

PUAs are energy-efficient, income-generating appliances like refrigerators, walk-in cold rooms, electric cookers, solar water pumps and milling machines. Despite their transformative potential for local communities, small businesses and the environment, PUA sales are extremely low in emerging markets due to affordability and access to finance.

CLASP and Nithio want to change this. They set up the Facility, with support from the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), to make PUAs more affordable to consumers and companies. In this funding round, CLASP received over 80 applications from companies across Central, East and West Africa, representing a range of PUA technologies. Solar water pumps were the most common technology, followed by refrigerators and fans.

Kenyan solar water pump user


Subsidies with a transformative impact

The 18 companies selected will use their funding to sell a combined amount of 12,135 PUAs that will introduce life-changing productive use technology to over 500,000 people. The successful companies target both households and small businesses, with the PUA providing a transformative community-level impact by enabling customers to generate more income, save time, and improve their quality of life.

 “We are excited to support such a wide range of early movers and leaders in the productive use market,” commented Jeff Sottlemyer, CLASP program lead for the Facility. “We look forward to seeing the impact of this support on the lives of their customers and the communities they live and work in.”

Many applicants laid out strategies to specifically market appliances to women, showcasing the sector’s recognition of equitable uptake of PUA. BrightLife, a Ugandan refrigerator distributor, incentivizes sales agents to reach targets of at least 50% women shop owners and farmers for sales of refrigeration products. The companies also have a strong representation of women on their payroll. For example, women comprise more than 70% of the Ugandan-based and owned company POPO Africa’s workforce, while ALLTIMEFRESH in Nigeria is owned and predominately run by women.

“We anticipate the Facility will help early movers reduce unit costs, improving access to affordable, high-quality appliances,” noted Makena Ireri, Director at the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet “Unit cost reduction is a necessary step in demonstrating commercially sustainable PUA businesses that can attract private investment and propel market growth.”

The goal of the Productive Use Financing Facility is to support companies with the potential to scale quickly, and this round prioritized companies that are ready to sell. Already sales are underway at many of these companies, with the others expected to commence within the next month.

Following a rigorous evaluation, CLASP selected the following 18 companies:

 

Company Country PUA
Acme Engineering And Trading Plc Ethiopia Solar water pumps
ALLTIMEFRESH LIMITED Nigeria Walk-in cold storage, solar milling
Altech Group DRC Fans, Refrigerators, Walk-in cold storage
Baobab+ Group Nigeria Refrigerators
Bidhaa Sasa Kenya Electric pressure cookers
Brightlife Uganda Refrigerators
BURN Manufacturing USA LLA (Kenya Branch) DRC, Kenya Electric Induction Cookers
Consistent Energy Limited Nigeria Refrigerators
Deevabits Green Energy Limited Kenya Refrigerators
Ecozen Solutions Private Limited DRC, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda Solar milling, Solar water pumps, Walk-in cold storage
Green Scene Energy PLC Ethiopia Solar water pumps
Ignite Power SL Limited Sierra Leone Refrigerators
POPO Africa Limited Uganda Refrigerators
SokoFresh AgriInnovations East Africa Limited Kenya Walk-in cold storage
SureChill Africa Limited Kenya, Nigeria Refrigerators, Walk-in cold storage
Rensys Engineering and Trading PLC Ethiopia Solar water pumps
Tulima Solar Limited Uganda Solar water pumps
Village Energy Limited Uganda Refrigerators

 

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