New fund to promote renewable energy enterprises
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JOHANNESBURG - The African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has launched a $1.2 million (R17.76 million) Innovation Fund to unlock the potential of renewable energy to create new business opportunities.
In a statement dated Thursday, the enterprise said businesses and entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique and Zimbabwe can apply for funding.
The fund is aimed at strengthening market readiness of emerging innovations, as well as secure financial, technical and networking support for taking proven prototypes to scale.
Chief executive officer of AECF, Victoria Sabula, said: “The Innovation Fund is key to enhancing large-scale transformation within local communities. Investing in affordable and accessible renewable energy solutions can create jobs, grow economies and build more sustainable livelihoods.”
“Through the fund, we hope to unearth new ways that renewable technology – be it domestic, communal or commercial – can be used to generate income and create jobs.”
Sabula said the funding would bring solutions that would reduce the negative impacts associated with the use of traditional cooking options at the household and institutional levels, build climate change resilience among communities and support productive uses such as water pumping, agro-processing and cooling and refrigeration services.
She said in applying, businesses and entrepreneurs would need to demonstrate how their proposed innovations would transform livelihoods of low-income households through the creation of jobs and diversification of livelihoods.
The Innovation Fund builds on AECF’s Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies (REACT) initiative, which was launched to help the private sector to develop and expand its clean energy technologies in Africa’s rural communities.
The fund will invest in technologies that meet market needs as well as accelerating the development of solutions to better serve African communities, but not technologies in the prototype stage.
The deadline for applications is April 29.
African News Agency