GIZ Organises Workshop to Help Develop Energy Business Models for Low-Income Markets

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INDIACSR News Network

NEW DELHI: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH hosted the ‘Energize the BoP Workshop’ in collaboration with the CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development (CII-CESD). This practitioner’s workshop was an official side event at the Asia Competitiveness Forum 2012, which was held under the heading “Competitiveness: Economic Development, Prosperity and Creating Shared Value”.

Speaking on the relevance of such a focused workshop, Mr Manfred Haebig,  Director of GIZ Private Sector Development said, “India’s competitiveness will be driven by innovation: Entrepreneurs who find business solutions to social challenges in areas such as energy, education, health or sanitation are an important actors in India’s innovation system. Creating platforms for innovators to learn from each other is required in order to allow up-scaling of solutions which exist all over India in niches and pockets. India needs entrepreneurs that start a business on their own to address the employment challenge.”

Together with Germany-based consultancy Endeva and CII-CESD, the enterprises worked on options for designing and improving their business models, responding to challenges in Indian low-income markets. Market leaders such like Selco, Desipower and Envirofit were the facilitators and are seen as potential future mentors for businesses active in rural electrification, solar lamps, and cook stoves.

Elaborating on the need of improving business models, Swati Pandey from CII-ITC CESD emphasised how businesses are already developing sustainable and inclusive innovations that create value in low income markets. CII-CESD and GIZ has entered into a project to support such sustainable and inclusive innovations and to analyze and promote successful business models.

GIZ and CII facilitated peer learning between successful entrepreneurs and start-up innovators. Businesses had the opportunity to meet with social and impact investors.  For highly enterprising start-ups GIZ and CII-CESD will offer long-term mentoring process. With this event, GIZ’s MSME Umbrella Programme aims contribute to India’s ‘Decade of Innovation’ and strengthen innovations in socially relevant sectors.

Trends in the role of finance for enabling innovators to bring solutions to India’s challenges have been highlighted in the study “Responsible Finance. A Catalyst for Responsible Business” conducted by Ernst and Young on behalf of GIZ was launched by Mr. Ajay Kapur, Chief General Manager SIDBI. “Risk Capital is important, but Businesses need more than just that: handholding support is similarly important.” He appreciated initiatives that strengthen the capacities of businesses. SIDBI is playing an important role to provide capital to small businesses and start ups, including those who want to reach out and create social impact.

GIZ and CII-CESD will address the challenges mentioned in the study and create platforms for innovative businesses to link up with investors.



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