Invested Development and GVEP International recently conducted a survey in collaboration with Power Africa and UN Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network to investigate the challenges that energy enterprises experience in emerging markets. Of course, company financing is a big issue, but we wanted to dig deeper into manufacturing, human resources, consumer financing, and sales. The goal was to identify the types of support products and services that the industry can provide to move the needle … read more
“While education unlocks the door to development, increasingly it is information technologies that can unlock the door to education”- Kofi Anaan, 2003
It’s widely accepted that technology has improved education in many ways: more efficient communication, better story telling, more accurate assessment, comprehensive access to information and research, just to name a few. Unfortunately, technology has also widened the education gap between affluent and impoverished schools. Education technology (EdTech) tools are often expensive, energy thirsty, … read more
Our December 12th post introduced the importance of energy storage; today, we take a deeper look at where innovation is needed and the technologies that make it all possible.
Energy storage technology: more than just batteries
When we mention energy storage, your phone and computer batteries are likely the first technologies to come to mind; AA batteries are probably a close second. This is because they’ve become such a daily part of our lives. In … read more
ID’s investment focus on alternative energy solutions includes not only renewable energies like solar, but also innovative ways to store energy. Energy storage technologies have the potential to radically transform the global energy landscape in the coming years, helping to solve key issues for integration and deployment of renewable energy systems. The technologies are crucial both in developed and developing markets and present an exciting opportunity for innovation. This post will discuss the role of … read more
Since we first announced the Impact Factoring Fund, we’ve been working hard to help our portfolio companies take advantage of the opportunity to access working capital. One of our portfolio companies, Frogtek, is particularly excited to apply the IFF to its efforts of financing tablets for their customers in Mexico and Colombia.
Frogtek’s innovative technology is an application, Tiendatek, which allows micro shopkeepers to manage sales and inventory on their smartphone or tablet. … read more
As we introduced in our last post on this topic, Kenya is using several policy tools to stimulate renewable energy development and grow its national energy supply. With rapidly growing demand, the government has clearly identified renewable energy, such as solar, wind, and geothermal, as a reliable and sustainable way to increase energy supply.
Renewable energy production presents the potential for income and employment generation. It also encourages private investment while minimizing environmental harm. … read more
Kenya’s National Energy Policy is designed “to facilitate provision of clean, sustainable, affordable, reliable and secure energy services at least cost while protecting the environment.” The efforts come alongside a critical time for Kenya – economic growth and energy demand are higher than ever. The current supply, although increasing slowly, cannot keep up with demand. In response, the Kenyan government is using three policy tools to facilitate the adoption of renewable energy. The aim is … read more
We recently wrote about the rapid uptake of mobile broadband and its expected journey toward revolutionizing the digital divide in sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya, in particular, shows signs that mobile broadband is the key to increasing Internet access and ICT sophistication. In this post we’ll share the stats and driving forces behind mobile broadband’s success in Kenya.… read more
Our portfolio companies exhibit determination and persistence in their journey to scale. We’re proud of all milestones, whether big or small, as they indicate growth and scale, allowing the benefit of innovative technologies to reach further. Promethean Power has made excellent progress so far in 2012, and today we’d like to share the most recent update on their journey.
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton recognized the Promethean team for their work. On her trip to … read more
Today, there are over 60 million mobile cellular subscriptions in Africa – an astounding increase from less than 5 million ten years ago. Unlike anywhere else, mobile phone subscriptions quickly leapfrogged over fixed landline subscriptions, some calling it “The Death of the Fixed Line.” Similarly, mobile broadband is experiencing a much faster uptake than fixed broadband. In this post, we discuss the policy, infrastructure, and accessibility considerations that have allowed mobile to be … read more
Over the past few years, ID has worked to catalyze risk capital for underserved markets. To date, we have done this with direct investments from our BSP Fund, business co-creation through our BETA program, and deal syndication with fellow investors. Now, we are ready to announce our latest effort to support high-growth enterprises working in underserved markets.
The Impact Factoring Fund solves one of the most critical inhibitors to high-growth impact entrepreneurship. It levels … read more
At Invested Development, we frequently herald the impact that mobile technology can create for the underserved in their daily lives. Mobile technology, specifically information and communication services, has also dramatically increased the effectiveness of disaster relief services. Having access to information and communication greatly helps those affected by natural disaster and those who are trying to help. There is an opportunity for innovation to increase the impact that ICT and mobile technology has on people … read more
To date, we’ve introduced both the benefits and the inefficiencies of informal savings groups. Today, we’ll share how mobile technology can improve informal savings groups. Injecting the benefits of mobile money, increased communication, and innovative apps into the savings group model can displace the inefficiencies that exist in trust, convenience, and security. Importantly, mobile technology does not compromise the intrinsic benefits of the savings groups. … read more
Last week, we introduced informal savings groups and their benefits. In this post, we’ll discuss how mobile phone technology can optimize the intrinsic benefits of a savings group through mobile money, innovative cash management applications, and increased communication.… read more
Over 70% of people in emerging markets do not have a formal bank account (Goss, Mas, Radcliffe, & Stark, 2011). Despite exclusion from what we consider formal banking, many people in emerging markets have figured out their own ways to save money. An increasing number of people are participating in informal savings groups.
Our goal in this series is to explore the effectiveness of savings groups. In this post, we’ll explain how they work and … read more
Editor’s Note: This post is Alex Bashian’s reflection on Nairobi’s “calling” after his recent visit to East Africa.… read more
In our recent post, Africa’s Big Three, we compared Nigeria – Africa’s third largest economy – to South Africa and Egypt – the first and second largest, respectively. We discovered that added mobile penetration could boost Nigeria’s GDP to outgrow Egypt’s by 2020. This prediction is a result of increased mobile penetration and its positive effects on economic growth. In this post, we’re following up on our prediction with a discussion of another benefit of … read more
Last week we introduced the Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission and explained the reality of the energy situation in India. Will it be possible for India to reach the goal of 20GW of installed solar capacity by 2020? We built a model to test the feasibility, and today we’ll share our findings.… read more
In a first-of-its-kind plan, the Indian government announced the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission with the goal of achieving 20 GW of installed solar capacity by 2020. An incredible ambition, many are wondering if it is possible. There’s no denying that the country needs it, but is it possible to garner enough investment in solar to install 20 GW of capacity by 2020? We looked at several macroeconomic factors to determine the feasibility of the … read more
We take pride in each one of our portfolio companies, and it’s always rewarding to see them recognized for their work. Simpa Networks has been quietly walking the walk and is now talking the talk, evidenced by article after article popping up in our Google Alerts. The media stories on Simpa spotlight the need for alternative energy and accompanying innovative financing solutions for the under- and un-electrified. Now, mainstream media like Inc Magazine and National … read more
Africa is getting a lot of attention for its promising future, and it’s largely well deserved. The continent has six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world (The Economist, 2011) and the folks at McKinsey predict that it will have the world’s largest middle class by 2020 (Ottela & Russo, 2011).
Despite the astounding growth, there is still a big gap between the high-growth nations in Africa and other developed … read more
The Kenyan Context
The Rich People
Editor’s Note: This is the first post in a series from Sean Smith, who recently moved to Nairobi, Kenya to open Invested Development’s East African office.