SADC Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Support Facility Hosted a Virtual Introductory Meeting for the Successful Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, 04 Aug 2020

The SADC Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Support Facility (SADC RE ESF) held a virtual Introductory Meeting on 22 July 2020. The main objective of the meeting was to introduce the 2019 successful small-to-medium sized entrepreneurs (SMEs), drawn from SADC member countries, to the Facility in preparation for the training, mentorship, and networking to follow. The 2019 beneficiaries are 32 Renewable Energy (RE) SMEs with 44% female and 56% male. The beneficiaries are from: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Applications were not received from the remaining SADC countries.

The Introductory Meeting was attended by 23 RE Entrepreneurs with guests from South African Renewable Energy Business Incubator (SAREBI) and SADC Development Finance Resource Centre (SADC-DFRC).  The meeting was organized by SADC Centre of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) in partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).  

In the meeting, two RE Entrepreneurs reflected on the impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses, new opportunities that arose, and the company operation strategies. Both Entrepreneurs highlighted that their business operations have been negatively affected by COVID-19 pandemic. An Entrepreneur stated that COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call as they had to diversify business offerings by venturing into food production, e-mobility transportation model besides energy generation. The discussions focused on the (a) training components and approach; (b) identification and approach to mentorship; and (c) financial institutions engagements. The training and mentorship are scheduled for the last quarter of 2020. The Entrepreneurs in their feedbacks stated that the Meeting was very productive, informative, engaging and thought provoking.

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