SMEFUNDS RECEIVES N50 MILLION FACILITY TO BOOST CLEAN TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION – NIGERIA

SMEFUNDS RECEIVES N50 MILLION FACILITY TO BOOST CLEAN TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION – NIGERIA

LONDON, UK – July 2015 – Today, SMEFUNDS, Africa’s foremost Social Enterprise based in Nigeria is first to receive N50 Million (approx. $300,000) from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through Ecobank Ltd into its Cellulosic Bio Ethanol Gel for Clean Cook Stoves and Pay-As-You-Go Solar Smart Mini-Grid Electricity Projects. This facility is aimed at delivering Clean, Safe and Affordable Energy for more than 1 million low Income Small Business and Households across Nigeria. The Head, Relationship Management MSMED Fund, Development Finance Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Tobin J in making this development known to the company, stated that “the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has a target that by the end of 2015, half of the fund which is for the purpose of growing our economy through small businesses will be out to the qualifying companies. We are looking at the productive sectors of the economy, the manufacturing, renewable energy, entire agricultural value chain, services; these are areas of emphasis where we want to generate employment and production within the economy so that SMEs will begin to produce goods for export and then we begin to earn foreign exchange”. SMEFUNDS through its new Spin off Companies; Green Energy & Biofuels and Gosolar Africa Ltd, have reached more than 500,000 Base of the Pyramid (BoP) customers in the last 3 years with its Biofuel Gel that has displaced over 4 million liters of Kerosene, Firewood and other dangerous & expensive cooking and lighting alternatives. Gosolar Africa has launched a revolutionary low cost, flexible and reliable Prepaid Energy on demand Pay-As-You Go Solar Mini Grid for increasing productivity for...
Employment Opportunity with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Employment Opportunity with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (Alliance) is seeking a full-time consultant to support market development activities in Nigeria. The Market Manager will be responsible for building strong relationships with key stakeholders within the private, public, and civil society sectors, working to establish cross-sectorial collaborations and pushing the field of social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Fundraising is an important part of the role, as well as finding, supporting, and evaluating social entrepreneurs to create maximum impact in the clean cookstoves and fuels sector in Nigeria. The Market Manager is expected to bring a combination of entrepreneurial spirit, intellectual curiosity, strategic thinking, passion for social change, focus on tangible results, a collaborative “can do” attitude, and a desire for continuous improvement. We are looking for an inspirational leader who is up for the challenge to launch change programs in Nigeria; someone who can manage operations independently and build a strong portfolio of activities in support of the Alliance’s global goal of reaching 100 million households by 2020. Background The use of open fires and traditional cookstoves and fuels by close to 500 million households globally is one of the world’s most pressing health and environmental problems. According to the World Health Organization, household air pollution from cookstove smoke kills over 4 million people every year and sickens millions more. The Alliance is a public-private partnership established in 2010 and dedicated to creating a thriving global market for cookstoves and fuels to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment. The sector’s collective goal is to enable 100 million households to adopt cleaner and more efficient cookstoves and fuels...
How Solar Sister is fueling a women-led clean energy revolution in Africa

How Solar Sister is fueling a women-led clean energy revolution in Africa

In rural Kenya, a woman named Iniobong opened a maternity clinic to serve her community. It had no electricity, so she used candlelight or kerosene to deliver babies and care for mothers. One day, a woman named Blessing brought a solar light to her prenatal check-up. It sparked Iniobong’s interest, so Blessing told her that she could sell it and other clean energy products herself if she became a “Solar Sister Entrepreneur.” Iniobong started out by buying solar lights and a better cookstove to use at her own clinic. Today, the money she earns as a Solar Sister entrepreneur goes into running her clinic and providing care for the women in her community. “When it came time to bring Blessing’s son into the world, there was still no electricity, but both the patient and nurse were armed with bright solar lights,” said Caroline Mailloux, director of engagement for Solar Sister. “They successfully delivered Blessing’s son into a bright room with no open flames or dangerous fumes.” Solar Sister is a nonprofit that is working to eradicate energy poverty by empowering women to be entrepreneurs. It’s a women-run direct sales network that distributes clean energy technology such as solar lights, mobile phone chargers and clean cook stoves to communities across rural Africa. The International Energy Agency estimates that 585 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity, and in some areas of the continent, off-grid households spend $0.50-$0.60 per day on kerosene lighting and basic charging costs. And according to Mailloux, many people are forced to utilize toxic, expensive alternatives like kerosene or paraffin, which can cause burns and...
Millions of Refugees Need Access to Cleaner, More Efficient Cookstoves and Fuels

Millions of Refugees Need Access to Cleaner, More Efficient Cookstoves and Fuels

More than 59 million people are currently displaced from their homes due to conflict, war, and disaster. They leave home with few possessions, and often, in fear of their lives. While millions of refugees receive food from humanitarian agencies, the food still needs to be cooked before it can be eaten. Yet without access to modern cookstoves and fuels, women and children must risk their safety, health, and sometimes their lives, to search for and collect firewood in order to cook over smoky, polluting open fires that damage health. As we commemorate World Refugee Day, now is the time to raise awareness about this critical issue and to encourage decision makers to address the urgent need for increased access to cleaner and more efficient cookstoves and fuels and to help ensure the dignity and safety of refugees around the world. Displaced women often must walk for hours to find firewood and carry loads of 20 kg or more back to camp, which puts them at risk for physical and sexual attack, dehydration, and physical injury. In fact, a 2014 UNHCR assessment in Chad found that 42% of refugee households experienced incidents of assault, attempted rape, rape, or other forms of sexual gender based violence during firewood collection over a six month period. At night, lack of access to lighting further increases women’s vulnerability when navigating camps to use latrines and other services. Women and children in refugee camps are also exposed to health risks, including respiratory infections from smoke produced by inefficient stoves and fuels. A review in the Journal of Conflict and Health in 2010 stated that acute...

N9.2bn cook stoves: Contractor sues FG

Festering controversies trailing Federal Government’s N9.2 billion cook stoves programme has taken a twist as Integral Renewable Energy Service Limited, the company handling the project, has secured an ex-parte injunction against revocation of the contract. It would be recalled that no sooner had Goodluck Jonathan’s administration approved N9.2 billion for the National Cook Stoves Scheme, than Nigerians started expressing outrage over the deal, describing the project as not only bizarre, but also a leeway to divert public fund. The amount was approved in 2014 for procurement of 750,000 units of clean cookstoves and 18,000 wonder bags. The Federal Government, however, consistently defended the project, insisting it would help reduce the number of death and illnesses associated with cooking with firewood. However, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Fatima Mede, blew the lead open on the project while responding to inquires in Abuja last week. Mede said the company failed to stay true to the project delivery deadline, even as she also noted that there was nothing on ground to show the contractor had supplied to the tune of 15 per cent payment made to it. According to her, the ministry has paid N1.3 billion, being 15 per cent of the contract sum. She explained that the contractor had consistently spurned letters written to it demanding physical counting of the number of stoves so far supplied. Based on the failure to give account, she hinted that the ministry might be compelled to revoke the contract. The permanent secretary also confirmed that the sum was paid from the N5 billion so far released by the Federal Government for the...