Category Archives: Uncategorized

Africa embracing alternative finance

This is one of a growing number of options becoming available to African entrepreneurs.

The Emerging World

A majority of businesses in Sub-Sahara Africa are small and medium-sized enterprises, also known as SME’s, and represent 90% of all businesses and produce 80% of all jobs throughout the continent.  Most of these enterprises lack access to finance stunting growth and business development.  The International Finance Corporation, IFC, estimates that up to 84% of SME’s in Africa struggle to get adequate financing from formal investment channels such as banks and other financial institutions, resulting in a credit financing gap of $140-170 billion annually. This has created a market need for alternative sources of financing.  Alternative financing platforms have stepped up to meet this need using crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

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Let me first start out by explaining exactly what crowdfunding is. Crowdfunding raises capital for a project or a venture by collecting small amounts of money from a large group of people.  There are different types of crowdfunding opportunities. …

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Caribbean communities on the front lines of climate change adaptation

A key step is to understand how private for-profit initiatives can align with current thinking regarding resilience to maximize pro-climate impact and lead to healthy sustainable returns to investors.

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Photo Credit: Stuart Claggett

Newly-released analysis from CDKN has identified a series of approaches to help community-level organisations to increase climate resilience. The analysis focusses on the Caribbean, but has widely applicable lessons for community-based adaptation in other parts of the world. Will Bugler and Olivia Palin explain further:

The research acknowledges that the success of adaptation measures is highly dependent on local context, and shows how multi-level governance approaches can deliver locally-appropriate adaptation actions. By using approaches and methods such as network analysis, community-based vulnerability assessments and a ‘local adaptive capacity framework’, the research suggests that communities can improve the efficacy of climate action at the local level. What’s more the analysis also finds that more co-ordinated action at the local level can lead to increased influence on regional and national decision making.

The new analysis draws on outputs from three CDKN-funded projects spanning a decade’s worth of applied research…

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B2B Waste to Energy and Renewable Energy Fair

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The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in Partnership with GIZ and United Nations Development Program (UNDP)’s Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) project hosted Belize’s First B2B Waste to Energy and Renewable Energy Fair at the Belize Biltmore Plaza, in Belize City on the 9th November, 2016.

The presentation of the Potential Study on Producible biogas and renewable energy from biomass and organic waste in Belize by TNO Consultants Johan van Groenestijn, Robert de Kler and Marco Linders for GIZ / J-CCCP concluded that:

  • Large amounts of biomass resources are available in Belize that have a significant potential to produce biogas
  • All reported biomass resources have biogas production potential, but every case is different and has to be judged amongst others on its scale (amounts available), easiness of digestibility, alternative uses of the waste, location, etc.
  • For bananas, a best practice system comprises of a hammer mill and two…

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Guess Which Caribbean Island Just Went 100% Renewable? Bonaire!

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Like many Caribbean islands, Bonaire originally relied on diesel fuel to generate electricity for residents, with a peak demand of 11 megawatts (MW). This fuel had to be shipped in from other nations, resulting in high electricity prices for Bonaire residents, along with uncertainty about when and how much prices might increase with changing fuel costs.

In 2004, everything changed when a fire destroyed the existing diesel power plant. Although tragic, the situation provided an opportunity for Bonaire to consider what kind of new electricity system to build. Temporary diesel generators were rented to provide power for the short term. Meanwhile, the government and local utility began working together to create a plan that would allow Bonaire to reach a goal of generating 100 percent of its electricity…

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Climate Policy Initiative

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Here’s a round-up of activities by the Climate Policy Initiative that are useful in the leap up to COP.

Interactive Report & Webinar: Moving to a Low-Carbon Economy Could Free up Trillions

Some worry that a switch away from fossil fuels could have a significant cost to the global economy and undermine the financial system. New research conducted by CPI for the New Climate Economy project demonstrates that with the right policies, a transition to a low-carbon energy system could free up trillions of dollars over the next 20 years to invest in better economic growth.

Read the interactive report HERE.

Join the webinar on November 21st to learn how moving to a low-carbon economy can free up trillions.

New Animated Video: New Models for a Low-Carbon Electricity System

New finance and business models for a low-carbon electricity system in the U.S. and Europe can save consumers, investors, and…

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5 Things to Know About Climate Change in the Caribbean!

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Natural events and human activities contribute to an increase in average temperatures around the world. Increases in greenhouse gases such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the main cause. Our planet and our region are warming. This leads to a change in climate.

  1. The Caribbean is a minute contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, but will be among the most severely impacted.
  2. We are already experiencing its impacts. More frequent extreme weather events, such as the 2013 rain event in the Eastern Caribbean; the extreme droughts being experienced across the region, with severe consequences in places like Jamaica; the 2005 flooding in Guyana and Belize in 2010. And further Climate Change is inevitable in the coming decades.
  3. Inaction is VERY costly! An economic analysis focused on just three areas - increased hurricane damages, loss of tourism revenue and infrastructure damages - could cost the region US$10.7 billion by 2025. That is…

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Call to scale up climate partnership for small islands

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The heads of three regional organisations, together with the Commonwealth, have called for the strengthening of a global partnership to support climate change planning and finance in small island developing states. 

The Climate Resilient Islands Partnership was formed in 2011 and launched at the Rio+20 summit to support island nations, many of whom face existential threats as a result of climate change and rising sea levels, by providing a facility for sharing learning and providing mutual technical assistance.

Ahead of the International Conference on Small Island Developing States, in Samoa between 1-4 September 2014, the Commonwealth, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and the Indian Ocean Commission united in calling for new partners to scale up the partnership.

Speaking at a parallel event, the heads showcased some of the achievements of the partnership since it was launched at Rio+20. These include joint…

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What Tech Hubs Are Getting Wrong in Africa (and How to Fix It)

Tech hubs and accelerators are a good way for investors to build relationships in the target market and to get acquainted with the local entrepreneurial community. This can mitigate some of the risk inherent to angel/venture investing. Social investors should consider becoming the kind of corporate partner the author suggests are necessary for accelerators to become sustainable.

In a post about Africa’s growing tech hub community, researcher Dan Evans (whose work we’ve covered previously), writes:

“Based on the maturity and business viability of many of the small tech firms that we have met with over our data collection visits, and the modification of many incubators’ business models, we completely understand the thought-process behind this “pivot” in strategy. For example hubs that we have previously visited like iceaddis and iLab in Liberia, andHiveColab in Uganda have all scaled back their original lofty aspirations. These hubs originally planned for a multi-tier membership model, charging rent for office space, and acquiring equity of the companies that were the most mature. Based on these assumptions, they thought they could be self-sustaining in a short period of time. All have scaled back their expectations and operate more as collaboration spaces for the local tech community and offer technical training…

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Call for proposals – your green idea could win up to US$15,000

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Are you a young innovator?
Are you a citizen of Latin America and the Caribbean?
Are you passionate about climate change?

If so, you are eligible to participate in the Greenovators contest, organized by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and EARTH University, in collaboration with the Ibero-american General Secretariat and Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and Energy.

The proposed project must provide specific indicators to monitor the impact of the project because the work that are awarded seed funds must commit to a monitoring report for evaluation by the end use of funds to deliver. Your project should be in one of the following areas:

  • Education and Awareness
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Renewable Energy
  • Sustainable Transport
  • Sustainable Business
  • Resilient Agriculture
  • Water resources
You could win
  • 5 prizes of US$ 15,000
  • 10 prizes of US$ 10,000
  • 15 prizes of US$ 5,000

Contest participants can also win a trip to Costa Rica and participate in the…

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