On 14 May 2018, the Preparatory Workshop for the Business Plan Competition, a component of the Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum, was organized to prepare the 4 female energy entrepreneurs from West Africa for the Investment Forum which held on 16 May 2018. ECREEE, represented by Ms Monica Maduekwe, participated in the meeting on 13 May and 16 May 2018, serving as a moderator for the Business Plan Competition session on 16 May.
The event is a key output of the ECOWAS/CTCN partnership on Mainstreaming Gender for a Climate Resilient Energy System in ECOWAS, which started implementation in 2016. The project aims to support the operationalization of the ECOWAS Policy for Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access. The PD & F initiative was implemented by the Private Finance and Advisory Network (PFAN), hosted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and aims to contribute to the regional policy target of increasing female participation in the private energy sector to 25% by 2020.
Business plan competition
The PFAN Investment Forum was held in conjunction with the Vienna Energy Forum 2018, which took place on 14 and 15 May 2018. The Investment Forum presented a platform for participants from the investors’ community, and others, to hear first-hand about investment-ready climate and clean energy projects from West Africa. The one-day event featured The Business Plan Competition (targeting investment-ready proposals) and Investment Clinic (tailored for startup ideas promoting technological innovation).
The Business Plan Competition presented expert-vetted, investment-ready proposals for clean energy projects in West Africa to investors. The 4 projects were selected from over 50 entries during the Call for Proposals for Women-led Sustainable Energy Enterprises in West Africa, launched in 2017 by ECREEE, PFAN and CTCN. Each of the 4 project promoters were given 15 minutes to pitch their business plans after which two winners were selected by a jury whose job was to select the most promising investment opportunities for the PFAN Global Awards.
Creed SME Solar Power and Vitalite Senegal emerged as winners of the competition. Other competitors include: E-faitou (Senegal) and Waste Transformers (Sierra Leone).
The purpose of the forum, which was to increase the exposure of female-led West African energy businesses to a global investor’s community, was met. The feedback from members of the jury, concerning issues with the businesses presented and how they could be improved was observed to complement the results of the Pre-feasibility Study on Business Opportunities for Women in a Changing Energy Value Chain in West Africa, which provides an in-depth analysis of issues facing women-led energy enterprises in West Africa.