Energy start-ups from Rwanda and Zambia secure funding from an impact investor Opens-LCEF

ZAMBIARwanda’s Munyax Eco and Zambia’s WidEnergy have secured investment from female-focused fund Opens-LCEF, an impact investor that provides catalytic capital to early-stage social enterprises in  emerging markets.

Open-LCEF has a portfolio of 17 investments across 11 countries, seven of which operate in East Africa, and has established the Restart East Africa initiative to address the issue of female underrepresentation in the renewable energy sector.

Supported by the DOEN Foundation and the Good Energies Foundation, Restart East Africa supports innovative impact organisations which have been impacted by COVID-19 or have come up with innovative solutions in response to the pandemic.

It has made investments in two companies, with the Funding coming in the form of zero per cent interest loans. The recipients are Rwandan company Munyax Eco, and Zambia’s WidEnergy.

Munyax Eco installs solar water heaters and has done so for more than 1,200 B2B and B2C clients.

It also deals with photovoltaic off-grid systems and solar streetlights.

The funding will help the company work through the COVID-19 crisis by financing inventories and expansion of product lines.

WidEnergy, meanwhile, provides last-mile clean energy solutions via a PAYG model, offering off-grid households access to solar-powered lights and appliances.

Due to COVID-19, the company experienced a decrease in sales last year, and the Restart East Africa funds will be used towards extending its distribution network.

In July 2019, start-up WidEnergy secured an undisclosed amount of funding from the Germany-based GreenTec Capital to expand its operations.

The company’s name is an acronym for “Women in Development,” reflecting its goal of engaging women as active participants in Africa’s energy transition.

WidEnergy works with 80 female sales agents to distribute renewable energy solutions across Zambia, focusing on core competencies in lending and distribution to develop a high-quality lending portfolio with minimised default risks.

Created in 2013, Munyax Eco is a Rwandan / Belgian company reconciling business and clean environment.

Munyax Eco is working in solar energy as well as energy efficiency sectors by selling and installing environmentally friendly and high-quality equipment at very competitive.

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