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Lighting the way

Investors have struggled for a while to create a sustainable microfinance model in Africa. Tom Parry reports on innovation that’s helping to power remote villages in the west of the continent.

Bringing light to the remotest parts of equatorial Africa is a massive challenge. But a Ghana-based business has just received backing from UK and European venture funds, to the tune of $7.5m, to roll out its innovative approach to empowering those in rural Ghana.

PEG, the largest off-grid solar company in Ghana, provides loans for solar-power systems and other assets for off-grid homes in West Africa, giving much-needed help to move these communities forward. PEG can help these off-grid customers, who are often rural and considered risky by banks and microfinance, because it offers loans using pay-as-you-go financing. This allows PEG to control assets remotely in the field, while customers are repaying them.

Having already proven the business model, in June, PEG closed a $7.5m Series A funding round. The new capital will be used to expand both “We aim to reach 2.5 million people in four countries in the next four years”

Hugh Whalan, PEG founder and CEO PEG’s operations in Ghana and its management team, and to launch in Ivory Coast.

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