Articles by Colm Fay
Pay-as-you-go off-grid energy business models are often vertically integrated, including elements of manufacturing, distribution, consumer financing, payment collection and after-sales service. But some believe it's more cost-effective to outsource many of these aspects of the business model to service providers. Paul Clyde and Colm Fay at WDI argue that vertical integration is neither inherently good, nor bad: They explore its history, and its advantages and disadvantages for the nascent off-grid energy industry.
India’s clean energy industry is growing fast. But the challenges facing enterprises there – and the lessons they are learning – are neither unique to the clean energy industry nor to India. In fact, says Colm Fay at the William Davidson Institute, recent research suggests that India’s clean energy sector is following patterns that can be observed in any nascent industry. He explores how existing knowledge about how industries develop can help guide investment, and provide some clues about what the sector’s future may hold.
Almost 3 billion people worldwide cook with materials that are inefficient, unsustainable and polluting. Since 2010, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves has sought to make clean stoves and fuels commonplace across the developing world, by building an industry that could deliver this vision. Colm Fay and Ted London at the William Davidson Institute share insights from the Alliance's efforts to catalyze this new industry, breaking down four key stages of acceleration and their lessons for other impact-based accelerators.
Sharing SOCAP: Why My Favorite Conference Needs to Leave San Francisco – And Other Takeaways from #SOCAP17
SOCAP and San Francisco: They go together like GIIN and Toniic. Bad impact investing jokes aside, NextBillion editor Scott Anderson makes the case that it's time for the much-loved social business conference to "throw off the moorings of the beautiful Marina District and consider other cities where the promise of impact investing is gaining steam." Check out his argument, along with other takeaways from the event, in this roundup.
The USAID-funded Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) project has announced the launch of the Health Enterprise Fund, a challenge fund designed to address the lack of available capital for health enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa. This support will include technical assistance and grant funding of up to $200,000. In this post, Colm Fay of the SHOPS project explains the fund and how to apply.
Last weekend over 1,000 students from around the world gathered on the campus of the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. for the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative University. To get there, each of them had to make a commitment to action. From tracking cholera epidemics in Bangladesh, to reducing delinquency among disadvantaged young women in Arkansas through mentoring and coaching, to creating awareness about campus sustainability issues in Florida,
Ours was among 12 student teams from top business schools in the US/UK competing in the inaugural International Impact Investing Challenge. We were tasked with designing an investment vehicle capable of absorbing $10 million to $50 million with positive social or environmental impact while also delivering competitive returns for investors.