CleanStart Connect 2013 to Spur Growth of ‘last-mile’ Energy Markets
  • November 20, 2013

The vital role of finance in enabling energy businesses to grow and offer a greater range of clean energy services to the world’s poorest consumers is the focus of a new UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) forum to be held in Bangkok.

CleanStart Connect 2013 will bring together leading energy and financial service providers, investors, policy makers and development partners to advance practical solutions to reducing energy poverty.

The forum will be held on 25 -26 November with the theme, Building last-mile energy markets: financing scale and impact.

Aimed at building more inclusive energy markets in Asia and Africa, it will explore innovative business models in decentralized energy and the significant opportunities for these to reach scale and impact by serving ‘last-mile’ consumers.

“Reaching the 1.3 billion people without access to electricity and the 2.6 billion consumers without clean cooking solutions is a major human development challenge, yet it’s also an immense investment and business opportunity,”UNCDF’s CleanStart Programme Manager, Vincent Wierda, said. “There’s untapped potential for market growth where much more could be done to catalyse viable enterprises that offer value and improved energy solutions to low-income communities,” he said.

Among the topics to be covered are innovative financing options for low-income consumers, including credit and pay-as-you-go schemes; ways of boosting working capital for small-scale energy entrepreneurs; and the role of concessional financing and impact investments in scaling-up proven business models.

It will feed into the CleanStart programme’s overall strategy as it supports the dramatic scaling-up of energy access and ultimately contributes to a greater range of quality, clean and affordable energy products and services for people at the last-mile of the energy market.

CleanStart Connect 2013 is supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC).


About CleanStart

CleanStart is a UNCDF programme which aims at expanding access to clean energy for low-income households and micro-entrepreneurs through microfinance. It contributes to the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative and its objectives:

  1. ensuring universal access to modern energy services;
  2. doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and
  3. doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.

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