By October 26, 2015 Read More →

Total leads crowdfunding project to boost energy access in developing world

Technical energy solutions also require financing in remote rural areas of poor countries

French energy giant Total is joining with a European crowdfunding platform to accelerate access to energy in Africa, Asia and Latin America.


More than a billion people worldwide have no access to electricity, according to Total and Babyloan.

Total and Babyloan have teamed up to develop the first crowdfunding platform dedicated to improve access to energy and related financing solutions where the need is greatest. Worldwide, 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity and 2.7 billion do not have access to clean cooking options. While effective solutions exist, they are hard to access or unaffordable for people living in rural or near-urban areas, who spend a large portion of their inadequate income on sources of energy unsatisfactory for the environment.

Total says its experience on the ground in more than 30 countries has demonstrated that more than just good technical solutions are needed.  Total will participate in the partnership through its Awango by Total lineup of high-quality solar lamps, mainly distributed in Africa.

“You also need to provide access to financing, even tiny amounts, on a broad scale,” said Jérôme Schmitt, Total senior VP, Sustainable Development & Environment.

energy“We’re working on that in countries where our Awango by Total lineup is available. This innovative platform, created in partnership with a leader like Babyloan, will help us do that.”

The partners say the crowdfunding platform will support the creation of 2,000 local microbusinesses in a dozen countries over two years that will develop distribution networks to cover the last mile to reach isolated communities. Babyloan and Total will début the access to energy crowdfunding platform in early 2016.

Babyloan’s experise is in crowdfunding and microcredit. The company says it works with microfinance institutions (MFIs), it ensures that the money raised for a project is paid directly to a local MFI, which provides microcredit to entrepreneurs. This system offers better familiarity with the local economy and support for projects on the ground.

“There aren‘t very many projects yet, but those that exist attract strong public support, because they have a significant social, economic and environmental impact,”  said Arnaud Poissonier, CEO of Babyloan.

“By teaming up with Total to give them great visibility through a dedicated platform, we will help to draw microfinance institutions to this sector. This new focus is also aligned with our determination to take part in the growth of green microfinance.”


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