• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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All On, Rockefeller Foundation launch $3.5m grant for Nigerian off-grid entrepreneurs  

off-grid energy

The Rockefeller Foundation and All On, a Nigerian off-grid energy impact investment company funded by Shell, on Tuesday announced the launch of the All On Hub, a facility that will build the capabilities of off-grid entrepreneurs in the Nigerian energy sector

The Hub is being funded through a $3.5 million grant from The Rockefeller Foundation, a data, science and innovation-driven philanthropy focused on ending energy poverty and improving livelihoods by accelerating the expansion of affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity, All On said in a press statement.

The Hub will seek the best off-grid energy entrepreneurs at ideation, angel, growth, and market entry stages, and prepare and support them to scale their businesses. The goal is to dent energy poverty which sees over 28 million households and 11 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria without access to reliable on-grid energy.

“The Nigerian energy market is at a unique juncture, with unprecedented political will and leadership, a vibrant and innovative group of entrepreneurs, and growing access to capital all coming together in what could be a pivotal moment,” said Ashvin Dayal, senior vice president of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Power Initiative.

“The All On Hub has the potential to significantly support the growing number of private sector actors to get to scale, and ensure the overall sustainability of the nascent, private off-grid energy sector,” Dayal said.

It is hoped that when these businesses succeed, it will lead to new, reliable sources of energy for low-income households and SMEs, helping to close the energy access gap for some of the most vulnerable populations in Nigeria.

“We are excited to collaborate with the Rockefeller Foundation to establish the All On Hub because of its strong reputation for making a positive impact in communities across the world for more than a century,” said Wiebe Boer, CEO of All On.

“The establishment of the All On Hub will provide a facility and structure that will ensure we unearth and support the best energy entrepreneurs who will lead the private sector in our journey to provide clean, reliable, and affordable energy to transform the social-economic status of unserved and underserved communities together,” Boer said.

Damilola Ogunbiyi, managing director and CEO of Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA), said the collaboration between All On and The Rockefeller Foundation would “create a pipeline of scalable, investable and sustainable energy businesses that will benefit from the enabling environment provided through the REA and accelerate access to energy, sparking long-term economic growth”.

Under the Paris Climate Change Accord, Nigeria committed to cutting carbon emissions by at least 65 percent and clean energy provides the quickest way to meet this need. Off-grid clean energy represents a viable electrification solution that can empower local communities, is tailored to local needs and conditions, is rapidly scalable and environmentally sustainable.

Over the next three years, companies supported by the All On Hub are expected to provide thousands of new connections to low-income households and SMEs in Nigeria.