The SADC Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Facility held its 1st Technical Committee Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa

Tuesday, 17 Mar 2020

The SADC Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Facility is being implemented in the sixteen-member countries of the SADC and builds on the Memorandum of Understanding between International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), signed in February 2017, to support renewable energy (RE) market development in the SADC region through capacity building of small and medium sized entrepreneurs (SMEs).

The Facility serves as a technical support and mentorship platform to address some of the challenges experienced by the entrepreneurs, specifically, to enhance and strengthen the capacity of SMEs in assessing the business potentials of sustainable energy, developing viable business plans and loan requests, managing and maintaining their businesses successfully. Furthermore, the Facility also aims to increase the confidence of financial institutions in sustainable energy systems and create linkages between the entrepreneurs and financial institutions.

A call for application for the RE entrepreneurs to receive training and mentorship support was flighted in October 2019 and 70 applications were received. It is against this background that the selection for entrepreneurs to undergo training programme was conducted at first Technical Committee Meeting on 5-6 March 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. The Technical Committee members comprises of representatives from the following nine institutions: Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (https://www.bedco.org.ls/); Development Bank of Southern Africa (https://www.dbsa.org/); Fundo de Energia (https://www.funae.co.mz/); Lloyds Financials Limited; Namibia Energy Institute (http://nei.nust.na/); Private Financing Advisory Network (https://pfan.net/); South African Renewable Energy Business Incubator (https://www.sarebi.co.za/); Tanzania Renewable Energy Business Incubator; and United States African Development Foundation (https://www.usadf.gov/).

The objectives of the first Technical Committee meeting were to: (a) assess applications and select entrepreneurs based on the developed draft selection criteria; (b) conduct training needs assessment; (c) recommend mentors to support entrepreneurs to develop their businesses; (d) recommend external experts to conduct the training for entrepreneurs and financial institutions; and (e) to recommend development partners that will support the implementation of the Facility. The committee recommended 32 SMEs to be trained on enhancing financial management and business operations.

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