USADF and All On Open the 2020 Edition of the US$100,000 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge
Jan 15, 2020
Lagos, Nigeria. The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and All On have officially opened the application window for the 2020 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge, which will provide up to $100,000 in blended finance per enterprise for successful applicants. The 2020 application window opens on January 15 and closes on February 29, 2020. The Rockefeller Foundation is also providing funding support for the 2020 edition of the program.
USADF, a founding member of Power Africa established by Congress to support and invest in African-owned and led enterprises, and All On, an off-grid energy impact investing company seeded by Shell in Nigeria, established the Challenge as a multi-year partnership to identify and help scale innovative off-grid solutions to “power up” unserved and underserved areas in Nigeria.
Now in the third year of the partnership, the parties will jointly provide funding to 100% African-owned and operated small- and medium-size enterprises that improve energy access through off-grid energy solutions spanning solar, wind, hydro, biomass, and gas technologies. The enterprises may be developers of their own technology and/or acquiring and implementing technologies developed elsewhere. To benefit, applicants need to be legally registered in Nigeria, demonstrate the capacity to track and manage project resources, and operate in good standing with the local governments in their areas of operation. Up to $50,000 per selected company will be provided in the form of convertible debt, along with up to $50,000 of grant capital.
Sixteen Nigerian companies have been selected through the 2018 and 2019 editions. The winners of the 2019 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge were ICE Commercial Power, Sosai Renewables, Greenage Energy, Pirano Energy, Sholep Energy, Entric Power Systems, ACOB Lighting, NexGen Energy, and Protergia Nigeria. In the first edition of the Challenge in 2018, the recipients were Prado Power Ltd, Darway Coast, Auxano, Eastwind Labs, Alyx, Creeds Energy, and iKabin.
According to 2018 Challenge winner Ola Abraham, CEO of EastWind Labs, “The USADF-All On blended finance has enabled my company to profitably provide solar-powered Refrigeration as a Service (RAAS) to Ile-Ife, touching hundreds of families and businesses daily. The USADF and All On due diligence process is brutally thorough. You'd think they want to deny you the funding. On the contrary; that's just the secret sauce for your business success. APPLY, COMPETE, WIN.”
Aaron Esumeh, CEO of Enugu-based 2019 Challenge winner Greenage Energy, added, “The selection process for the USADF-All On Off-Grid Energy Challenge was very detailed and transparent, and winning the Challenge has inspired us greatly. This opportunity will make us more impactful to society, providing electricity to the underserved.”
All general inquiries and applications should be sent to: OffGridChallengeNigeria@usadf.gov
Application closes on February 29, 2020.
About the United States African Development Foundation (USADF)
The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) is an independent U.S. government agency established by Congress to invest in African grassroots organizations, entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized enterprises. USADF's investments promote local economic development by increasing incomes, revenues and jobs, and creating pathways to prosperity for marginalized populations and underserved communities. Utilizing a community-led development approach, USADF provides seed capital and local project management assistance improving lives and impacting livelihoods while addressing some of Africa's biggest challenges around food insecurity, insufficient energy access, and unemployment, particularly among women and youth. Over the last five years, throughout Africa, with an emphasis on the Horn, Sahel and Great Lakes regions, USADF has invested more than $115 million dollars directly into over 1000 African-owned and operated entities and impacted over four million lives.
About All On
All On, an independent impact investing company, was seeded with funding from Shell, and works with partners to increase access to commercial energy products and services for unserved and underserved off-grid energy markets in Nigeria, with a special focus on the Niger Delta. All On invests in off-grid energy solutions spanning solar, wind, hydro, biomass and gas technologies deployed by both foreign and local access-to-energy companies that complement available grid power across Nigeria and help bridge the significant energy gap.
About the Power Africa Presidential Initiative
Two out of three people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity. In 2013, Power Africa was launched, bringing together technical and legal experts, the private sector, and governments from around the world to work in partnership to increase the number of people with access to power. Power Africa’s goal is to add more than 30,000 megawatts (MW) of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections across sub-Saharan Africa; in Nigeria, Power Africa’s goals are 3 million connections and 10,000 MW. Led by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Power Africa works in partnership with USADF and ten other U.S. departments and agencies, 18 development partners, and over 145 private sector partners to increase energy access on the Continent and improve the lives of millions. For more information, please visit Power Africa website at: www.usaid.gov/PowerAfrica.
About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, the Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas and conversations. For more information, visit www.rockefellerfoundation.org.