In a yesterday release, GreenTec Capital Partners, an investor in African businesses, informed that they have invested in Lusaka-based WidEnergy Africa Ltd, a women-led and female-centric company with a focus on the last-mile delivery of clean energy solutions.
Zambia-registered WidEnergy is a for-profit social enterprise also dedicated to women’s empowerment, and the company leverages an innovative PAYGO model to provide solar-powered homes and appliances.
As is the custom of GreenTec who focuses on combining social and environmental impact with financial success, the amount invested remains undisclosed. This development marks the seventh venture capital injection for the firm, before which it backed Kenya’s SuperFluid Labs in January.
WidEnergy Ltd focuses on expanding access to affordable energy through the innovative application of the PAYGO (pay-as-you-go) model, which has a low penetration rate in Southern Africa, providing a significant market opportunity, a statement said. It works with 80 women sales agents to deliver renewable energy solutions and connectivity across the South-Central African country.
The impact firm believes in a world where every African woman, girl, has access to clean affordable and sustainable energy for lighting and cooking, can take advantage of energy access to live better, with a positive impact on health, education and household income.
The company’s name is an acronym for “Women in Development,” reflecting the company’s goal to engage women as active participants in Africa’s energy transition. WidEnergy has developed partnerships to be the Zambian distributor for d.light, Greenlight Planet, and Little Sun solar appliances and home systems.
According to a statement, the female-led team expects to connect more than 1250 households by July, 2019. The Zambian company is actively working on developing its approach and model and has recently completed the integration of MTN backed mobile-money payments into its platform, greatly facilitating user payments.
Beyond delivering affordable lighting products, WideEnergy Africa strives to provide door-to-door sales training to women and girls, to increase women’s personal income and prevent eventual commercial sex or early marriage, all which usually result from poverty.