PayGo vs. MFIs: What Works Better for Energy Access Consumer Financing – And Does it Have to Be Either/Or?
Many last-mile customers can’t afford clean energy products without financial solutions to help pay for them. Energy enterprises often meet this need in two different ways: by partnering with microfinance institutions (MFIs) to provide loans to customers, or by offering pay-as-you-go (PayGo) financing options. The United Nations Capital Development Fund’s CleanStart program has supported energy providers using both of these models, and Teresa Le, an energy finance consultant at the program, explores their relative merits and challenges.
Immigrants Create Jobs – Small Loans Can Help: New Research on the Impact of Supporting Underserved Entrepreneurs
Did you know that immigrants and their children have helped found 60 percent of the most highly valued tech companies in the U.S. (currently worth $3.8 trillion)? That statistic highlights a fact that’s being lost in the immigration debate: Recent immigrants are natural entrepreneurs, who create jobs and economic growth for themselves, their families and their communities. Opportunity Fund’s vice president, Gwendy Brown, explores new research showing how small loans can help immigrants and other underserved entrepreneurs build their businesses and maximize their impact.
Why Social Entrepreneurship is Vital to the SDGs: 15 Award-Winning Entrepreneurs Share their Insights
In recent months, the global development sector has faced some unwelcome news: The world is not on track to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But there is still cause for optimism: The ongoing growth of social business points to possible ways to overcome this slow progress. Mark Horoszowski, CEO of MovingWorlds.org, met with award-winning social entrepreneurs from around the world at the recent SOCAP conference, and asked them how entrepreneurship can help achieve the SDGs. Their responses, compiled here, highlight many of the reasons the sector is moving to the forefront of the global development agenda.
All children deserve an equal education, and most people agree on that goal. Yet globally, tens of millions of children are not in school, and many schools struggle to retain qualified teachers. Suren Aloyan founded the social enterprise Dasaran to address these issues in Armenia, through an online platform that offers interactive learning content and communication and assessment tools to schools, parents and students. Aloyan explores the impact the platform has generated so far – and discusses its plans to scale up.
Despite the Sustainable Development Goals’ ambitious call for universal energy access by 2030, over 2 billion people still lack reliable electricity. Distributed renewable energy technologies could bridge this gap, but most countries suffering from energy poverty have yet to truly embrace them. One solution, say Rebekah Shirley and Monkgogi Otlhogile at Power for All, is for this fast-evolving sector to have more comprehensive and current data. To that end, the organization has built a free, open-access platform that helps users draw meaningful insights about energy access from the latest data. They discuss the platform and its benefits in this post.