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The Energy Enterprise Coach providing tailor-made trainings to renewable energy SMEs in Africa and Asia

By June 14, 2023June 17th, 2023News

The Energy Enterprise Coach (EEC) is a capacity building program that seeks to professionalize Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) working in the renewable energy sector in Africa and Asia. This program is conceptualized and funded by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the Energizing Development (EnDev) partnership, and is being implemented by NIRAS and Intellecap. The program has a keen focus on SMEs in improved and clean cooking, biodigester, organic fertilizer and off-grid solar sectors.

Launched early this year, the EEC kicked off with a Call for Applications for SMEs in Kenya on 27th February, closely followed by a similar Call in Uganda. By the end of May, EEC commenced to mobilize eligible SMEs across the Sahel target countries, namely Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Benin. The application window in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali is targeted towards biodigester companies and in Benin towards improved cookstove companies.

The EEC program has so far attracted a good number of applications from different countries, an indication of the need for technical support for the SMEs in the renewable energy sector to enable them to scale their businesses.

SMEs enrolled into the EEC program stand to benefit from quality business development support that is tailored to the individual business growth stage of participating SMEs, the particular clean energy segment that the company targets, as well as context and location. The trainings come in three variations, i.e. e-learning, group trainings and individual mentoring.

The first round of group trainings for SMEs within the Kenya and Uganda cohorts kicked off in May 2023 with EEC contracted BDS provider E4Impact delivering specially prepared training on essential business fundamental areas. The first training covered topics such as: Business Life cycle; Mission and Vision statement and SWOT analysis, with the SMEs thereafter tasked to complete assignments in developing (or strengthening) their mission/vision statements and company SWOT. A total of 16 companies in Kenya and 14 companies in Uganda participated in these trainings.

In Uganda, an additional training day was organized for participating EEC SMEs plus additional biodigester companies from the ABC Uganda programme. On the 2nd day, focus moved to “How to effectively present your business to financial institutions”; following a morning of training, a B2B match-making event with an array of different financiers took place, organized by our funder RVO and ABC Implementing Partner (SNV, Biogas Solutions Uganda Ltd).

The sessions also presented the SMEs with a platform to network and share ideas and experiences, which promoted the aspect of learning through knowledge sharing. “The training was insightful and interactive. We will implement what we have learnt, and we will soon be sharing success stories on the impact of this on our businesses,” said one of the participants after one of the training sessions. The second round of group trainings in Kenya and Uganda are underway from 6th June and we are excited to be part of the growth journey of these SMEs.

All SMEs shortlisted for the EEC program have access to the EEC E-Learning platform which further affords them an additional avenue to upskill through self-learning. The learning modules on the E-Learning platform are themed and cut across various topics and one is able to progressively advance from the simple topics to more complex business topics with the opportunity to benefit from dedicated E-mentorship support. There are assessments after each topic and one is able to track their performance. After successful completion of the training, the SMES will be issued with a certificate.

For more details about the Energy Enterprise Coach, visit

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