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Empowering women in renewable energy

By June 29, 2024July 1st, 2024News

Gender inequality remains a significant challenge in the renewable energy sector. Despite global efforts to promote gender diversity, women continue to be underrepresented, particularly in leadership and technical roles. Women make up only 32% of the renewable energy workforce, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This disparity is due to various factors, including cultural norms, limited access to education and training, and insufficient supportive policies.

The consequences of this gender gap are far-reaching. Not only does it limit the economic opportunities available to women, but it also stifles the potential for innovative solutions that come from diverse teams. Addressing gender inequality in the renewable energy sector is not just a matter of equity, it is essential for driving effective and sustainable energy solutions.

EEC’s commitment to women’s empowerment
The Energy Enterprise Coach (EEC) is dedicated to changing this narrative. EEC provides inclusive, solution-oriented business development services to renewable energy SMEs across Africa and Asia. Working with SMEs from Kenya, Uganda, Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Malawi, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Cambodia, EEC aims to professionalize SMEs and accelerate their growth towards investment readiness.

EEC’s key initiatives aimed at empowering women in the renewable energy sector:

  • Inclusivity: At least 25% of the enterprises supported by EEC are women-owned, ensuring that women have ample opportunities to thrive in the renewable energy sector.
  • E-Learning: EEC has so far enrolled 329 learners on the platform, of whom 28% are women.
  • Group training: The EEC has so far delivered 54 trainings with 581 participations from SME staff under the EEC programme, of which 193 are women.
  • Mentorship: 24 SMEs have joined the EEC mentorship programme of which 6 SMEs are women owned and 8 are jointly owned.

Success stories of women beneficiaries

Awuor Dorothy Otieno, founder and CEO of Nyalore Impact LTD (Kenya)
Dorothy Awuor’s company provides modern cooking solutions to underserved rural areas, aiming to offer off-grid residents access to safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly cooking options. She said that, “Participating in the EEC programme wasn’t just an event; it was a catalyst for change that has put our company on a steady upward track. The programme has transformed not only our business but also our entire trajectory. Our company has entered a new era of innovation and resilience thanks to the EEC programme.”

Ouedraogo Aminata, manager at Namangdo SARL (Burkina Faso)
Namangdo SARL sells biodigester products and trains producers in the manufacture of organic inputs, agricultural production, and biodigester maintenance. Aminata Ouedraogo remarked, “The EEC training has helped us clearly define our vision and mission and better understand our SWOT analysis. This has allowed us to identify our strengths and weaknesses, seize opportunities, and be aware of the threats we face. The opportunity to work with other entrepreneurs gave us insights, making us rethink and refocus certain aspects of our business to improve profitability.”

Grace Gitiha, founder and Managing Director of Green Eco Solutions LTD (Kenya)
Green Eco Solutions transforms biomass waste into briquettes, advocating for cleaner cooking solutions to address deforestation, mitigate indoor air pollution, and foster employment for women and youth. Grace highlighted, “EEC has been pivotal in refining Green Eco Solutions’ documentation, helping us create a streamlined and compelling business presentation. This has enabled us to effectively communicate our story, resulting in notable recognition, including the prestigious Company of the Year Award from the Africa Queen of Energy Awards. We anticipate continued mentorship that will eventually help us scale our operations.”

Empowering women in the renewable energy sector is not only essential but also transformative. As the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) aptly puts it, “Leveraging women’s participation as change agents can encourage, influence, and speed up the energy transformation.”. The Energy Enterprise Coach (EEC) is proud to have been part of these and other women-led SME’s journeys, providing the guidance and support needed to overcome challenges and achieve their dreams. EEC remains dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs with the tools, knowledge, and support they need to continue making a lasting impact.

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