12 June, 2024 News

Lanforce Energy and Qotto Bénin emerge as best pitchers at the ARE Investment Academy

From March to May 2024, ARE organised a new edition of the Investment Academy, supported by GET.invest, targeting early-stage, locally-owned, and women-owned or led businesses. The programme, offered in English and French, focused on delivering dedicated training in business and project development, finance readiness, and effective pitching strategies. Moreover, it provided a unique platform for these budding companies to showcase their business models to international investors, fostering potential collaboration.

The academy featured four distinct online modules and two in-person sessions:

  • The first module helped participants learn about the different characteristics of project development in the energy access sector.
  • The second module presented the basic characteristics of a financial model and how to mitigate and manage risks.
  • The third module introduced the principles of crafting compelling pitch decks and the art of storytelling.
  • The fourth equipped participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the financial aspects of the off-grid energy sector and to successfully secure funding for their projects.

The training sessions were conducted by Caroline Nijland, an experienced trainer of early-stage energy access companies in Africa. Attendees also benefited from contributions and inputs from key sector players, including EEP Africa, ElectriFI, Persistent Energy, Energise Africa, GAIA Impact Fund, ADA, Okra Solar, Spark Energy and Village Energy.

After the completion of the first four virtual modules, participants gathered in Lagos during EAIF 2024 to attend the in-person sessions. During a preparatory session, they presented their pitches and received feedback and suggestions for improvement from the trainer. In the concluding session, 19 companies pitched in front of a jury of financiers consisting of representatives of Persistent Energy, EEP Africa, Energise Africa, ADA and ElectriFI. The jury selected the top three presentations.

Winners received their prizes from Mrs. Höhn (BMZ) during the Awards Ceremony on the final day of EAIF 2024. In the English group, the winners were the following:

  • 1st place: Lanforce Energy (Zimbabwe)
  • 2nd place: Tech Power Services (DRC) and W Water Works (Uganda)
  • 3rd place: EcoLife Companies (Uganda)

In the French group, the companies awarded were:

  • 1st place: Qotto (Benin)
  • 2nd place: Plateforme Énergétique de “Mbiddi” (Senegal)
  • 3rd place: SSD FRES Mali Yeelen Kura (Mali)

“I joined the ARE Investment Academy because I wanted to develop my skills in pitch deck writing and presentations to bring investors to my business and my projects. I also participated because I wanted to have a space where I could meet individuals who are in a similar situation, especially females in the renewable energy space, and that is one thing that ARE has done, to include women in renewable energy activities… I recommend joining the ARE investment academy to learn how to write a good pitch deck and relate with your pairs. You also meet people in higher ranks and learn how to communicate with them. This gives you access to many opportunities.” said Favour Omoniyi from SAO Energy Services Africa Ltd.

ARE congratulates all the winners and participants for their efforts and looks forward to continuing facilitating similar capacity-building initiatives in the DRE sector.