From innovation to impact: New GET.invest support stories follow renewable energy businesses on their road to financing

5 February 2021 |Today, nearly 1.1 billion people around the globe still have no access to electricity1. In sub-Saharan Africa, electricity reaches only about half of the population2, which hampers social and economic development, affects resilience, and often harms the environment.

Connecting people to the grid, especially those living in rural and remote areas, is considered difficult due to the high costs it implies. Fortunately, small scale off-grid technologies offer potential solutions. They can be deployed more rapidly and are often the most appropriate and affordable option to meet customer needs.

Despite promising technologies, there is a persistent mismatch between those who need and those who provide financing2. Many entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities to scale-up their solutions but face major hurdles when accessing finance.

GET.invest supports entrepreneurs in overcoming these hurdles. Through our advisory facility, the Finance Catalyst, GET.invest provides a range of services that help projects and businesses become bankable, and links them to finance opportunities. Our advisors work with innovative businesses and projects, covering various investment sizes, market segments, and stages of development.

  • Photo: upOwa
  • During on-the-ground training, customers learn to make the most of their equipment.
    During on-the-ground training, customers learn to make the most of their equipment. Photo: upOwa

In a set of newly launched support stories, developers and advisors recount the challenges they’ve faced in getting projects investment-ready, explain the support that GET.invest has provided and shed light on the outcomes and the impact that projects and businesses have been able to make in the countries.

Among them is Cameroon-based developer upOwa. The company reaches last-mile customers, most of whom have never had access to electricity, with their autonomous, tailored solar kits. To scale up its model across the country, the company went out looking for additional financing. Along the way, they received support from the GET.invest Finance Catalyst in presenting their business case and filling the gaps in their financial models to make sure they speak the language of financiers. Ultimately, the raised financing has allowed upOwa to boost the distribution of additional solar home systems and provide over 165,000 people with clean electricity.

“GET.invest's support was key to improve the company’s understanding of the context and requirements of calls for proposals. Thanks to this support, upOwa’s team is able to identify the most relevant opportunities for grant support and to better showcase appropriate elements to donors.”
Caroline Frontigny, CBDO at upOwa

This and many more support stories are available on the GET.invest website. You can also listen to the recently launched Shine On: Solar Success in Africa Podcast. Developed in cooperation with the business association SolarPower Europe, the podcast episodes feature clients from the GET.invest Finance Catalyst who discuss challenges and opportunities in the rapidly growing African solar market.