ISLAMABAD: Acumen – a venture firm addressing poverty across Africa and in South Asia – announced on Monday a $250,000 equity investment in small and renewable energy (SRE) solutions.
Using a unique retail distribution network and employing local entrepreneurs, the upfront payment and monthly installment for the micro-credit product brings solar solutions within an affordable range for these off-grid households.
Acumen’s investment will enable the company to scale operations and undertake important pilots with micro-finance institutions. SRE intends to serve close to 40,000 households, impacting over a quarter of one million lives over the next five years, said a statement, adding that the savings from solar solutions enable households to spend more money on education, health and other basic needs.
“The need for reliable power in Pakistan’s rural communities remains acute, with tens of millions of people who are off grid,” said Country Director Acumen Pakistan Farrukh H. Khan.
Acumen has invested over $16 million in Pakistan since 2001, focusing on a wide range of sustainable, scalable businesses that use market-based approaches to deliver products and services to millions of poor people.
This is the second energy-related local investment by Acumen Pakistan, following an investment earlier this year in Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, which is building community-owned hydro power solutions throughout the Chitral district.