Entrepreneurs are a cornerstone of an economically viable and sustainable mini-grid – they increase the demand for electricity while boosting the local economy. This was the rationale for EnDev and AVSI Rwanda’s Productive Use of Energy (PUE) intervention at existing mini-grid sites, which were struggling with too little demand for electricity.
Implemented from January 2020 to September 2022, EnDev and AVSI Rwanda’s PUE project focused on the development and expansion of productive use in six existing mini-grid sites to support the rural development of communities as well as the financial viability and sustainability of mini-grids.
The project targeted the communities in the villages of six mini-grid sites in Rwanda. It linked 71 businesses with financial institutions for loans and provided matching grants for equipment – all with the aim to lower the financial barrier to integrate electric appliances and the use of electricity in their business activities. At the same time, the business capacity of 97 entrepreneurs was boosted through business skills training and business coaching. The intervention empowered existing businesses and enabled new ones to provide new services and products to the community, benefiting the entire villages’ population.