New Gender report shows inclusion aligned with improved business performance

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In 2018, we published A Business-First Approach to Gender Inclusion, which presented the opportunity that holistic gender inclusion represented for small businesses and investors operating in the clean energy sector. The report showed clear business performance improvements when a gender-lens is applied to areas including sales, marketing, market research, customer service and hiring. Four years…

Evaluating the impact of pay-as-you-go LPG on Kenyan lives 

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PayGo Energy provides a pay-as-you-go LPG service to low-income customers in Kenya, the DRC and the Philippines.  Co-funded by UK aid from the UK Government and in partnership with portfolio partner PayGo Energy, The Busara Centre conducted research examining the impact of PayGo energy on its customers in Kenya.  Adopting a mixed method approach, the…

African venture capital: barriers and solutions to address imbalances

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Interest in harnessing business potential in Africa is growing year-on-year. The total amount of venture capital (VC) investment on the continent grew to between US$4.3 billion and US$5 billion in 2021, a 16-fold increase from 2017. However, the distribution of the funding is uneven. The landscape of start-ups successfully accessing funding is dominated by non-African…

Growing prosperity and building climate resilience for small-scale farmers

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In Sub-Saharan Africa, small-scale farmers make up about 60 percent of the population and about 23 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP comes from agriculture. Small-scale farmers are at the heart of African agriculture and face many challenges: access to credit for farm inputs and market access for their produce being chief among them. In 2022,…

How Lithium batteries can help address Africa’s access to power deficit 

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Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has the lowest energy access rates in the world, leaving roughly 600 million people without power.  SF partner Aceleron – co-funded with UK aid from the UK government and supported by Tripleline – has produced a report showing how lithium battery technology can play a critical role in reducing this deficit and…

The business potential in going beyond cooling as a service

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Four new impact case studies from Inficold highlight how various cold chain products can deliver higher incomes for farmers and agribusinesses across several value chains.   Agriculture in the Indian Context   We have supported Inficold since 2016, as part of our CASEE programme with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), to develop its…

Understanding how solar powered decentralised food processing can increase value-chain efficiency

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Sustainable food processing provides an untapped opportunity for social investors to combat the daily ~$19.4 million post-harvest crop loss in India. India’s food processing sector is significantly hampered by efficiency challenges, further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, up to 40% of smallholder farmers’ total produce results in post-harvest loss. SF partner S4S Technologies has…

Shell Foundation partners with Nuveen to catalyse private equity investments into climate solutions

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Nuveen, a leading global investment manager with over $1.3 trillion of assets under management, announced a partnership today with Shell Foundation, the UK-registered charity, to drive more capital to emerging market climate solutions. Nuveen’s Global Impact team, the firm’s dedicated private equity impact strategy, expects to invest at least $100m over the next five years…

Can free wi-fi improve brand awareness and customer numbers for Nigerian rural enterprises?

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In 2020, Shell Foundation initiated a six-month wi-fi pilot, co-funded with UK Aid from the UK government, in three regions of Nigeria. Free internet access was provided through 50 selected locations to potential Swifta customers in peri-urban and rural areas. Swifta Systems is a professional technology company focused on IT services and fintech. OmniBranches (one…