Does access to inputs, information, credit and markets result in increased income for smallholder farmers?

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Smallholder farms account for 68.3% of total cultivated area in Ghana. Despite their important role in Ghana’s agricultural sector and economy more generally, however, farmers largely lack access to important support services that affect their productivity and survival due to the risky nature of their craft as perceived by financial institutions. Challenges such as the…

Aggregated procurement for Nigerian mini-grid developers delivers 40% cost savings

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A new research paper demonstrates how aggregated procurement presents enormous opportunity to facilitate access to distributed renewable energy (DRE) technology by improving supply chains within the sector and increasing cost-effectiveness for distributed energy projects. The research presents findings from a pilot programme testing aggregated procurement mechanisms for mini-grid developers in Nigeria. Download the full report…

The holistic impact on low-income communities of battery-as-a-service in rural Tanzania

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A new report examines the impact of Jaza Energy and the battery-as-a-service model on Jaza Hub Operators (“Jaza Stars”) as well as current, former and potential Jaza Customers. The report, conducted by the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics and co-funded by Shell Foundation and the UK government, presents the results of research conducted in the…

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…

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…