EmPower Her launches to advance women energy entrepreneurs in developing countries
New York, March 8 – The Climate Investment Platform (CIP) has launched a call for to support women energy entrepreneurs and organizations supporting women’s economic empowerment. EmPower Her, Call for Proposals invites clean energy projects at early stages of development that enable productive uses of electricity and enable communities to escape multidimensional poverty. The selected projects will receive technical assistance to develop a project concept, develop the business plan, and support subsequent investor outreach.
The disproportionate impact of lack of energy affects health, productivity, caregiving, education, unpaid labour employment and overall quality of life of women and girls. Hundreds of millions of women worldwide toil in smoky kitchens and spend more than 40% of their family income on inefficient energy sources. In households that cook with firewood women and girls spend 18 hours a week, on average, gathering fuel instead of spending that time on education, play or income generation. The call for proposal comes at a crucial time as the latest IPCC’s report, released last week, underlined the need for more clean power.
"Energy access is a driver of women's economic empowerment, and women energy entrepreneurs are crucial for achieving last-mile energy access," said Usha Rao-Monari, Associate Administrator of the UNDP. "Financing women-led businesses and creating an eco-system of support should be a strategic priority for achieving SDG7."
Realizing the potential of women energy entrepreneurs
The energy sector continues to remain one of the least gender diverse sectors, and the few women energy entrepreneurs that exist often face investment challenges beyond their male counterparts. With the demonstrated bias against women in investment decisions, building a robust and equitable energy access market requires a pipeline of commercially viable energy projects by women entrepreneurs and organizations focused on women's empowerment.
Specifically, the selected projects will receive up to $40,000 to accelerate investment readiness preparation, such as business planning, feasibility testing, legal and technical requirement, and then support subsequent investor outreach. By supporting clean energy projects that displace fossil fuels and enable productive use of energy, the EmPower Her Call for Proposals will have a ripple effect of creating a sustainable SME ecosystem, lifting women and communities out of multidimensional poverty.
Project ideas for the call for proposals can be submitted here.