Bringing off-grid power to rural fishers and farmers in Tanzania
In East Africa, where agriculture is a main contributor to the economy’s GDP, climate change-induced drought and unpredictable weather patterns have contributed to increasing uncertainty for rural business owners and their communities. Tanzania-based social business Simusolar hopes to enable rural prosperity and overcome last-mile distribution barriers by providing and financing solar equipment for productive use.
Based on a lease-to-own model and a wireless ‘Internet of Things’ PAYGo-platform, Simusolar sells affordable solar-powered lights for fishing and irrigation systems for smallholder farming. The PAYGo platform allows the company to monitor customer equipment remotely, while enabling customers to ‘pay as they earn’ based on their seasonally varying cashflows. This model helps rural business owners reduce operating costs, generate a reliable income and enhance efficiency and productivity over time, thereby supporting a progressive transition from subsistence farming to agribusiness.
GET.invest Finance Catalyst
In early 2018, the GET.invest Finance Catalyst came on board and started supporting Simusolar with inputs to their business plan, project documentation, finance strategy and financial structuring. With the support of the GET.invest Finance Catalyst team, Simusolar has so far raised over €2m funding from Acumen Fund, Chroma and Impact Capital. Within two years, the company has been able to hire over 100 employees, triple revenues and reach over 12,000 smallholder farmers and fishermen, allowing almost 100% of clients to increase their income and cut fuel expenditure by an average of 46%.
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GET.invest helps renewable energy businesses and project developers access finance in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Carraiben. Our advisors have worked with innovative businesses and projects of different sizes, technologies and business models. One thing they all have in common is driving clean energy access where it is needed most.
GET.invest and its Finance Catalyst service are supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria. Partners for Innovation implements the Finance Catalyst service on behalf of GET.Invest.