GVEP International

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GVEP International
GVEP International logo.png
Founded 2002
Type NGO
  • London, England (UK)
Area served
East Africa, West Africa, Caribbean
Slogan "Accelerating access to energy"
Mission Increase access to modern energy and improve the quality of lives for millions of people
Website www.gvepinternational.org

GVEP International (Global Village Energy Partnership) is a non-profit organisation working to reduce poverty by "accelerating access to affordable and sustainable energy services".[1]

GVEP works with local energy businesses in developing countries to address the problem of energy scarcity and under-investment, particularly in rural areas where state or large utilities’ do not operate. They facilitate the implementation of sustainable energy solutions to provide reliable electricity for rural and peri-urban communities, stimulate energy markets, reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of people in developing countries. GVEP supports the growth of small and medium size energy businesses in rural areas by linking them with the enabling resources they need to take off and become self-sustaining, such as access to new technologies, skills, capital, and delivery networks.[2]


The Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP) was established at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.[3] Its aim is to increase access to modern energy services to reduce poverty in the world’s developing countries.

In 2006, GVEP became a UK registered charity (No. 1119168). Since then its work has impacted the lives of about seven million people by giving them access to clean energy.[4]

GVEP International's principles[edit]

GVEP International believes that business-led solutions are essential to meeting the energy needs of people living in developing countries.

While governments can help large utilities with effective policies and incentives, grid extension in rural areas is often not very cost effective. Only 40% of the new energy provision required for universal access is likely to be by grid extension and hence, the remaining 60% of the energy deficit must be met by small and medium enterprises. This is the sector in which GVEP operates by helping local businesses to harness the power of small stand-alone technologies to achieve lasting access to clean energy and improve the quality of the renewable energy market.[5]

All GVEP International's beneficiaries are currently dealing in or are working towards developing energy products and services that have the potential to become self-sustaining.

In Africa[edit]

Capital Access for Renewable Energy (CARE 2)[edit]

In low-income countries, access to finance and lack of capital are a major constraint to the growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.[6] The CARE2 program aims to improve capital access in the renewable energy markets of four African Great Lakes countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. This $7 million facility is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Launched in September 2012, the 3-year program consists of a combination of interventions designed to increase both the supply of capital to businesses and their capacity to deploy that capital effectively. CARE2 consists of a Business Support Team providing advice to businesses seeking capital, as well as an extension of GVEP's Capital Access activities and several sector-focused enterprise development projects. This program focuses heavily on women as one of its priorities is to address gender issues.

Kenya Climate Innovation Center[edit]

GVEP is one of the lead members of the consortium selected by the World Bank to set up and run the world’s first Climate Innovation Centre (CIC) in Nairobi, Kenya. This $10 million initiative aims at providing business incubation services and early stage capital to young businesses in the renewable energy and climate adaptation space in the African Great Lakes region. The center also intends to provide business and technical advice and services, access to facilities and small start-up grants, as well as access to seed capital investment.

Launched on 26 September 2012, the Kenya CIC is hosted by the Strathmore Business School, in collaboration with GVEP, PwC and the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI). The Kenya CIC is supported by infoDev (World Bank) in partnership with the Danish and British (via UKAid) governments. It will be seeded by a contribution of $15 million over five years.

Energy Opportunities for Women in Senegal[edit]

GVEP has launched a three-year initiative, implemented with its local partner Sem Fund, that aims at improving livelihoods, incomes and employment in rural areas in Senegal, via support for 250 micro-enterprises engaged in both expanding energy access and productive uses. The project is funded mainly by a grant from ENERGIA, with support from the governments of Finland, Norway and Sweden.

USAID DIV project with Azuri Technologies[edit]

Funded by the Development Innovation Ventures fund within USAID and delivered in partnership with Azuri Technologies, this $1m program aims to deploy 10,000 solar home systems in Rwanda in a sustainable and ultimately self-financing way. GVEP supports both Azuri and its in-country distributors, and aims for the project to provide a template for future deployment of pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar systems in other countries.

IDEAS Energy Innovation Contest[edit]

IDEAS consists of two rounds of a challenge competition in Latin America and the Caribbean which awarded approximately $7m of funding to projects that promote renewable energy, energy efficiency and access to energy. Around 30 winning renewable energy projects and businesses have received advisory support in addition to the grant funding. Within six months of the Caribbean competition being launched last year we were supporting eight businesses in solar, biodiesel, mini-grids, cookstoves, biogas and agro-processing. Over a two to three-year period, the target is to create more than 500 jobs and reduce CO2 emissions by 1.4 million tons.

Ideas to Impact[edit]

GVEP is part of a consortium, funded by DfID, which is implementing a five-year program supporting innovation in the development sector. The program will launch and run five prize challenges designed to incentivize innovative problem solving around key challenges in energy access, water and sanitation, and climate adaptation. GVEP is the energy access theme lead on the project team.

Former programs in Africa[edit]


Supporting Energy SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa (ESME) is a program carried by GVEP and the World Bank.[7] It assists energy enterprises by offering business training, access to finance and investment. The program is currently running in five countries: Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Senegal.

GVEP supports the implementation of the program and is working closely with government agencies on ways to increase private sector involvement in meeting energy demands. ESME projects include small hydro schemes, electricity from biomass, the expansion of solar markets and productive use of energy. Current activities include: assisting developers of mini-grids and small hydro systems to finance and deliver their projects, supporting the development of the solar PV market and providing capacity building and technical assistance to government agencies.

Spark Fund[edit]

GVEP is an initiative of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, to improve the performance and quality of locally manufactured efficient cookstoves in Kenya. The program provides support to high-potential cookstove businesses to improve their technical, product design and manufacturing capacity and practices. A seed fund has also been established which provides capital for these companies to expand their activities.


GVEP International set up the Developing Energy Enterprises Project (DEEP) in 2008. Now complete, the project's aim was to support micro and small enterprises to provide modern energy services and products to 1.8 million people in rural and peri-urban areas in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The current figure now stands at 4 million according to an external final report. DEEP successfully incubated business proposals in many areas including: solar energy for phone charging in rural areas; improved cook stoves; briquette production;sustainable charcoal production; construction of biogas digesters; sales of solar lanterns, etc. Additionally, 2841 households were shown to be receiving income from employment in supported energy enterprises.[8]

In the Caribbean[edit]

IDEAS 2[edit]

February 2012, the second round of the IDEAS Energy Innovation Contest was launched. Sponsored by UKAid with the support of the IDB and the South Korean Government, this round of the competition focused on innovative projects and ideas promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and access to energy in the Caribbean. 189 applications were submitted from 15 eligible countries. The jury chose 8 winners who will receive awards totaling nearly £1 million. UK Aid has chosen GVEP as its implementing partner for IDEAS, providing technical advice, access to other experts and institutions and introductions to funders and investors. The monetary prizes, alongside GVEP’s support, allow winners to turn their ideas into commercially viable businesses.


External links[edit]