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Energy Globe World Awards 2018

Finalist in the category Fire



Project:
Solar for Productive Use for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.
Submitted by:
SolarPipo
Country:
Uganda


SolarPipo online and offline platform connects off-grid SMEs who would normally not be served by solar providers to solar companies that provides them with energy. The real time credit scoring using mobile phone data, predictive analytics for agriculture, satellite based agronomic data and farmer field level weather conditions is done remotely. This lowers customer acquisition costs for solar companies and includes a segment that would not normally have access to sustainable energy on credit payment plans.

Initial situation
Most solar companies in Uganda and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa cannot easily reach the rural SME customer because the entrepreneurs are remotely located and sometimes may not seem as potential customers to solar companies because of their low income. Remotely located entrepreneurs most of whom are in agriculture-related business do not have documented credit history. Therefore, it is difficult to assess their credit worthinness in case a solar company is considering offering them high value products on credit. Furthermore, acquiring leads in this customer group is costly due high transportation costs, product risks, marketing costs and the necessary sales team facilitation.

Solution
SolarPipo is a platform that connects SMEs in off-grid areas who need electricity for operational activities to solar companies that can provide sustainable energy solutions. The technology behind the platform allows to qualify leads with minimal to no physical presence of the staff. The credit scoring is done online using the mobile phone data entered by the SME itself or through a regional leader of a business association, combined with predictive analytics for agriculture, satellite based agronomic data and farmer field level weather conditions of customers. So far, the platform has generated 700 SME leads. Solar companies have been able to offer SMEs clean energy solutions from irrigation kits, milk coolers and electric sewing machines and many others.

Innovation
Firstly, the innovation behind SolarPipo’s project is that they use technology that allows them to profile SMEs and qualify leads with minimal to no physical presence, significantly reducing costs. Secondly, the real time credit scoring is done remotely. Finally, it includes a market segment that needs alternative credit scoring to access sustainable energy on credit payment plans.

Category Fire

Fire
Winner
  • Project: Portable Solar Powered Cold Storage for Smallholder Farmers in Kenya for Postharvest Handling.
    Applicant: Solar Freeze
    Country: Kenya
    more

Finalists
  • Project: Beyond Energy Neutrality – Ejby Molle Wastewater Treatment Plant
    Applicant: VCS Denmark
    Country: Denmark
    more

  • Project: Solar for Productive Use for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.
    Applicant: SolarPipo
    Country: Uganda
    more