Suggestions

    Signify Foundation supports New Energy Nexus Uganda to scale more clean energy entrepreneurs amid COVID-19

     

    June 28, 2021

     

    As COVID-19 continues to affect the world, New Energy Nexus, Uganda, is working hard to respond to the damaging economic consequences of the pandemic.  Thanks to support from the Signify Foundation, New Energy Nexus Uganda has been strengthening its clean energy uptake initiative by supporting new and existing cohorts of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) with business assistance and robust marketing outreach targeted to meet rural energy demand with clean energy solutions.

     

    The ENVenture program, under the Ugandan chapter of New Energy Nexus, was created to help provide clean energy access for all with technologies like improved cookstoves and solar. The program incubates and accelerates clean energy businesses through financing and capacity building for CBOs who; maintain intimate grassroots relationships with their communities, understand the energy gaps, and distribute essential clean energy technologies. Since 2014, 123 CBOs have become part of the program, reaching almost 100,000 people with these products.

     

    For New Energy Nexus Uganda, the pandemic resulted in business closure and limited sales activities between April and June, which severely impacted the financial resilience and growth opportunities for the CBOs we work with. With the Signify Foundation Support we provided technical assistance to empower CBOs to revamp their clean energy businesses, enabling them to provide products at favorable terms for rural customers whose incomes reduced during the 2020 lockdown in Uganda.

    The 2020 cohort of energy enterpreneurs supported by New Energy Nexus Uganda in a post-training group photo
    The 2020 cohort of energy enterpreneurs supported by New Energy Nexus Uganda in a post-training group photo
    An additional 10 new CBOs have since been onboarded into the ENVenture program to become retailers of clean energy. This has led to a growing network of CBOs across Uganda distributing cleantech. During a recent field visit to one of the entrepreneurs, Mukasa Nasser of Initiative Uganda, we found out that they have not only launched their clean energy business but have also leveraged the income to launch a new venture in Cooking Bags, another disruptive technology in clean cooking. They have reached a significant number of rural households with their stock and this has helped them save money, improve health and education for children in tandem creating job opportunities for sales agents.
    Annet Birungi, Founder of Safe Energy Enterprieses, a New Energy Nexus Uganda awardee, in her cookstove shop.
    Annet Birungi, Founder of Safe Energy Enterprieses, a New Energy Nexus Uganda awardee, in her cookstove shop.

    To help each of the CBOs emerge from the COVID-19 crisis as a sustainable business, additional support provided by the Signify Foundation is bringing a more opportunities for offgrid communities in Uganda. The market recovery effort focuses on creating new CBO energy enterprises to continue creating and meeting clean energy demand.

     

    “Partnering with Signify Foundation has been vital in our effort to scale our enterprises. The energy technologies exist but they are not readily available to off-grid communities, the majority of which happen to be rural-based” says Robert Birungi, the program’s Head of Credit.

     

    We truly believe that ecosystem partnership is key to success. The market outreach program will continue to leverage the network of value chain partners such as improved cook stove manufacturers like Ugastove Limited with whom a recent training workshop was conducted for the ten CBOs to continue in this sustainability and entrepreneurship path.

    About the author:

    Marvin Tumusiime

    Marvin Tumusiime

    Abundance Team Manager, New Energy Nexus

     

    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Global Integrated Communications
    Neil Pattie
    Tel: + 31 6 15 08 48 17
    Email: neil.pattie@signify.com

    About Signify

     

    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. With 2020 sales of EUR 6.5 billion, we have approximately 37,000 employees and are present in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We achieved carbon neutrality in 2020, have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for four consecutive years and were named Industry Leader in 2017, 2018 and 2019. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

    Meydan Bridge

    More blogs

    • The future of plug and play solar home systems

      June 28, 2021

      The future of plug and play solar home systems

    • Lighting refugee camps in Uganda

      May 05, 2021

      Lighting refugee camps in Uganda

    • Partnering up to share the power of light in Africa

      June 19, 2020

      Partnering up to share the power of light in Africa

    We'd love to hear from you