ECREEE and Partners train Solar PV Entrepreneurs

A five-day regional training on Project proposal development, Marketing Strategies and Access to Finance for Solar Photovoltaic entrepreneurs commenced on Monday 7th August 2017, in Dakar, Senegal. The training was held within the framework of the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Support Facility and brought together 29 participants from the French and Portuguese member states in the ECOWAS region.

The training is jointly organized by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Centre for Renewable Energy and Industrial Maintenance (CERMI) and the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering (2iE). It was co-funded by IRENA, the Government of Luxemburg and the World Bank. A similar forum is slated for 17 entrepreneurs from the ECOWAS English speaking group from the 14th – 18th August 2017 in Abuja Nigeria. IRENA and ECREEE partnered to support solar photovoltaic market development in the ECOWAS Region through a project called “Promoting a Sustainable Market for Photovoltaic Systems in the ECOWAS Region” (ProSPER).

The ProSPER initiative seeks to support the development of a sustainable market for on- and off-grid Photovoltaic applications. The program is aimed at strengthening the capacities of policymakers, regulators and utility managers of financial institutions, trainers from educational or research institutions, and entrepreneurs to promote the use of renewable energy particularly solar PV systems. The ECOWAS Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Support Facility – a subcomponent of the ProSPER project was designed to assist entrepreneurs improve their business operations, provide mentorship and technical support to existing entrepreneurs and refine entrepreneurs’ project proposals to bankable levels.

The trainings are in response to calls from 50 entrepreneurs selected to receive support from the Facility, who requested for assistance in developing project proposals, marketing strategy, accessing finance, developing appropriate business models and effective management of their enterprises. The two trainings are expected to enable Participants develop their own project proposals, marketing strategies and criteria for accessing finance. The initiative which is the first of its kind will also help to strengthen the network of regional SMEs.