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Women-led start-ups with sustainable energy solutions in Ghana, Malawi, Morocco, and South Africa are invited to apply for funding of up to R1.2 million (about $68 000). The Smart Energy Solutions for Africa (SESA) initiative is aimed at SMEs.
As a SESA consortium partner, Siemens Stiftung will provide entrepreneurs selected with funding over an 18-month period, and an opportunity to join the SESA incubator programme.
“The call leverages social entrepreneurs’ talents, skills, and innovations to not only address climate change but also pave the way for social and economic development in rural areas,” says Dr Nina Smidt, managing director and spokesperson of Siemens Stiftung.
“Women are at the heart of this transformation. Supporting female-led enterprises enables the inclusion of vulnerable groups more at a climate risk, and in the process accelerates the realisation of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
Reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy access has been a challenge for rural communities in Africa. SESA, a European Commission-funded project, aims to test, validate, and later replicate innovative solutions as well as business models to accelerate the green transition across the African continent. It was launched in October 2021 with a duration of 48 months and is operational in nine African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, and Tanzania.
“The uYilo e-Mobility Programme is a SESA partner and the lead for the South African validation project,” says uYilo director, Hiten Parmar. “South African entrepreneurs successful in securing their place in this project will benefit on access to funding for scaling technology solutions, but also important development through incubator programme and technical and business mentorship.”
This call for entrepreneurs focuses primarily on the productive use of energy solutions. Each of the four participating countries – Ghana, Malawi, Morocco, and South Africa – have developed an individual country challenge with a stronger local focus, concentrated in specific areas to address their regional dynamics.
“The SESA call for entrepreneurs is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to provide sustainable solutions that improve access to energy in remote areas,” says uYilo programme manager Edem Foli. “This funding is available in a focused, goal-oriented environment which can propel a small business much faster than it could possibly achieve working alone. We encourage all entrepreneurs to make application for this project.”
Online applications are accepted until Sunday, 20 November 2022. The SESA incubator programme will start in February 2023.