Shine Campaign leaders attended GOGLA’s Annual General Meeting in Amsterdam this week. Established in 2012, GOGLA is the global member association for the off-grid solar energy industry. The association, of which Shine is a member, works to build sustainable markets for the delivery of quality, affordable products and services to households and communities across the developing world, including portable lanterns, multi-light systems and solar home systems.
The work of Shine partners and allies was highlighted at the conference. Ajaita Shah, Frontier Markets CEO and Shine Campaign Steering Committee Member, shared her organization’s recent announcement of a significant investment by The Rise Fund in Frontier Markets’ technology-enabled last mile distribution platform for mobile workforce female entrepreneurs and clean energy solutions in rural India. The Rise Fund – a global impact investment fund managed by TPG Growth – made the investment through its partnership with Echoing Green, one of the world’s leaders in supporting early stage social entrepreneurs. The investment is co-lead by French energy company ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, ENGIE Global utility’s corporate impact investment fund, along with Acumen Fund with the support of Unilever, Teja Ventures, and Rianta Capital. The investment in Frontier Markets’ technology platform will make it the first women-led rural market access company serving rural consumers while simultaneously leveraging a network of digital rural women entrepreneurs.
Clean energy champion Piyush Mathur, Simpa Networks CEO, talked to GOGLA members about the recent acquisition by ENGIE of a controlling stake (90%) in his company. Simpa Networks is the leading off-grid solar home systems provider in India.
This year’s meeting also explored Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGo) financing as an emerging energy access trend in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) as compared to other regions in the world. In the second half of 2018, for example, PAYGo transactions in SSA outsold cash transactions four to one. By comparison, transactions in South Asia during the same time period remained almost exclusively cash-based.