Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge selects its winners for the third edition as it opens application for the fourth one

NIGERIA – Nine Nigerian energy startups have been selected as the winners of the third edition of Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge and will access US$100,000 easy in blended financing.

The challenge is run each year by US African Development Foundation (USADF) and All On as part of a multi-year partnership that identifies and helps scale innovative off-grid solutions to “power up” unserved and underserved areas in Nigeria.

The winners of the 2020 Challenge are Allbase Global Technology, Ashdam Solar Company, Covenant Plus Engineering, Green Acres Microfinance Bank, Reeddi Technologies, Salpha Energy, Solarworld Alternative Energy Resources, Sunhive Limited and Vesselnet Integrated Services Limited.

“Congratulations to all the finalists on joining an innovative group of local enterprises that have come through this challenge and are now making impactful contributions in the Nigerian renewable energy sector,” said C.D. Glin, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of USADF.

All nine enterprises will be awarded US$25,000 in grant capital from USADF, US$25,000 in grant capital from All On via its support from the Rockefeller Foundation through the All On Hub, and US$50,000 in convertible debt from All On, which is seeded by Shell.

In addition to funding, the winners will receive technical assistance from USADF and governance support from All On.

Kunle Odebunmi, CEO of AllBase Energy, said he was “honoured” to have made it to the finals.

“The investment is a testament to our efforts in the energy transition by unlocking access to productivity, connectivity and resources that catalyse development and serves as yet another positive indication as the company positioned for the future.

“The grant will afford us to provide high quality, low-cost and carbon-free distributed solar energy systems to underserved households and MSMEs in Lagos State, thereby giving users the comfort and power to do more,” he said.

Meanwhile, The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and All On has announced the official opening of the 2021 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge, which will provide up to US$100,000 in blended finance per enterprise for successful applicants.

“We are proud to be partnering again with All On for the fourth edition of an initiative that is fostering the growth of local enterprises committed to bringing power and connectivity to underserved Nigerians,” said C.D. Glin, President & CEO, USADF.

“This partnership pioneered a blended finance model that combines grant capital and private sector investment funding that increases access to power and ultimately impacts lives.”

The Rockefeller Foundation is also providing support via the All On Hub for the program whose application window opens on January 15 and closes on February 28, 2021.

“We are particularly pleased that in spite of a remarkably difficult year in which tough business decisions are being made, the Challenge has been expanded for an additional two years till 2022. We look forward to more innovative solutions from entrepreneurs in the Nigerian off grid sector.” said Wiebe Boer, CEO, All On.

Entering the fourth year of the recently expanded five-year partnership, the parties will jointly provide funding to 100% African-owned and operated small and medium enterprises that improve energy access through off-grid energy solutions spanning solar, wind, hydro, biomass, and gas technologies.

The Challenge has awarded funds to 24 companies to date, totaling US$2.4 million in blended finance. This year’s $2,000,000 Challenge will provide up to US$100,000 per award for up to 20 enterprises.

“These unprecedented times of crisis have shown us how critical innovation is to solving global challenges. The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to continue its support to All in identifying and nurturing innovative entrepreneurs and businesses that are addressing Africa’s energy poverty by scaling Nigeria’s off grid sector,” said Joseph Nganga, the Executive Director of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Power & Climate initiative in Africa.

The enterprises may be developers of their own technology and/or acquiring and implementing technologies developed elsewhere. All applicants must be legally registered in Nigeria, demonstrate the capacity to track and manage project resources, and operate in good standing with the local governments in their areas of operation.

“We’re extremely excited to partner with the Challenge. Through the Nigeria Power Sector Program, we are supporting finalists with financial modeling to advance our shared goal of bringing clean and reliable electricity to Nigerian households and businesses.” USAID’s Power Africa Country Lead David Rogers added.

Up to US$50,000 will be provided in the form of convertible debt from All On along with up to $50,000 in grant capital from USADF for each selected company.

Participants will be selected based on their demonstrated abilities to increase sustainable energy access, specifically off-grid solutions, and extend the delivery of electrification to unserved and under-served communities throughout Nigeria.

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