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Investment: A guide for sustainable energy enterprises and NGOs


This guide provides an introduction to assist sustainable energy enterprises or NGOs that are seeking investment to start or expand their activities. By the end of this guide, you will understand the financial needs of a business and why investment is necessary; Have been introduced to types of investment finance including debt, equity and quasi-equity and be able to decide which is most suitable for your business; Understand the steps required to raise investment finance; and be able to look for potential investors.

This guide, from the Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP), provides tips on writing a business plan, including dealing with carbon finance, and explains where you can find further information and sources of finance.

For the purpose of this guide, we define a sustainable energy enterprise as one of the following: an organisation which is selling products that allow customers to generate sustainable energy or to save energy; one that is generating sustainable energy locally and selling it to customers (or to an electricity grid); or an enterprise which is itself powered by local sustainable energy. We define ‘sustainable energy’ as energy that brings environmental, social and economic benefits – it includes energy from solar, micro-hydro, biogas, energy-efficient cooking stoves, and other technologies. Sustainable energy enterprises might be:

  • Manufacturers
  • Importers
  • Wholesalers
  • Retailers
  • Installers and service contractors
  • Generators and distributors

Some enterprises may cover more than one of these (e.g. importing, assembling, retailing and installing solar home systems). Others will focus on just one element (e.g. manufacturing stoves and selling to distributors).

View the guide here: Investment: A guide for sustainable energy enterprises and NGOs.