Rwanda’s Munyax Eco and Zambia’s WidEnergy have secured investment from female-focused fund Opens-LCEF, an impact investor that provides catalytic capital to early-stage social enterprises in emerging markets.
Open-LCEF has a portfolio of 17 investments across 11 countries, seven of which operate in East Africa, and has established the Restart East Africa initiative to address the issue of female underrepresentation in the renewable energy sector.
Supported by the DOEN Foundation and the Good Energies Foundation, Restart East Africa supports innovative impact organisations which have been impacted by COVID-19 or have come up with innovative solutions in response to the pandemic.
It has made investments in two companies, with the Funding coming in the form of zero per cent interest loans. The recipients are Rwandan company Munyax Eco, and Zambia’s WidEnergy.
Munyax Eco installs solar water heaters and has done so for more than 1,200 B2B and B2C clients. It also deals with photovoltaic off-grid systems and solar street lights. The funding will help the company work through the COVID-19 crisis by financing inventories and expansion of product lines.
WidEnergy, meanwhile, provides last-mile clean energy solutions via a PAYG model, offering off-grid households access to solar-powered lights and appliances. Due to COVID-19, the company experienced a decrease in sales last year, and the Restart East Africa funds will be used towards extending its distribution network.