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Sh131.8mn Fund seeking to support entrepreneurs using renewable energy in Kenya unveiled

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – The African Enterprise Challenge Fund has launched a US$1.2 million or Sh131.8 million Innovation Fund to unlock the potential of renewable energy to create new business opportunities in Kenya.

Through the fund, businesses and entrepreneurs in Kenya can apply for funding to strengthen market readiness of emerging innovations, as well as secure financial, technical, and networking support for taking existing proven prototypes to scale.

The Fund’s CEO Victoria Sabula said the fund seeks to support solutions that reduce the negative impacts associated with the use of traditional cooking options as well as those that build climate change resilience among communities.

In applying, businesses and entrepreneurs will need to demonstrate how their proposed innovations will transform livelihoods of low-income households through creation of jobs and diversification of livelihoods.

Under the Sustainable Development Goals, the world has set an ambitious target of ensuring universal access to reliable and sustainable energy by the end of the decade.

The Fund however notes that with half of the African continent without access to electricity, and two-thirds lacking access to clean cooking solutions, additional investment is needed to drive innovation and accelerate the uptake of modern energy.

The Innovation Fund builds on AECF’s Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies (REACT) initiative, which was launched to support the private sector develop and expand its clean energy technologies to Africa’s rural communities.

The Fund will invest in technologies that meet market needs as well as accelerating the development of existing solutions to better serve African communities and not technologies in the prototype stage.

“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,” the CEO said.

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 The Innovation Fund will also launch in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

 

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