After Office Hours (AOH) with Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPOWER)

The first in a series of  After Office Hours (AOH)  “Business Talk”  organised by the Nairobi Garage, kicked off on February 9th, by bringing together business men and women from different disciplines, to create a unique brainstorming opportunity to discuss the current state of clean energy. The event discussed ways in which affordable renewable technology that can be utilized as a medium to achieve to increase energy access. The discussion was moderated by wPOWER Strategic Partnerships Director, Dr. Linda Davis.

The discussion kicked off with an overview of wPOWER’s Mission which aims to promote the central role of women in clean energy entrepreneurship. “There is little doubt that energy poverty is one of the most important challenges facing women in the 21st century,” said Dr. Davis. ‘Yet women are the primary users and often producers of energy and so without their direct involvement, clean energy technologies are at risk of not reaching their intended populations or use’.  Further, one study done in Kenya showed that women were three times better at selling cookstoves than men.

“This is an eye-opening experience for our participants, about the potential of clean energy as a lucrative business venture and an opportunity for empowerment’’ said Wanjira Mathai, wPOWER Director. The partnership has to date trained over 4,000 women and youth on sustainable clean energy entrepreneurship increasing energy access to over 2 million people globally.

In order to ensure that new clean energy innovations are effective and efficient, new standards have been developed by institutions like Lighting Global and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to create internationally harmonized quality assurance programs for affordable off-grid lighting and cooking technologies that supports commercial market delivery and protects consumer interests.

Participants came away with appreciation that there is an urgent need for increased awareness on and access to clean, safe, and affordable cooking and lighting options and driven by initiatives like wPOWER the world is moving inexorably towards an even greater adoption of clean energy sources. wPOWER continues to expand its partnership program in order to increase global efforts to help disadvantaged women from avoidable and stoppable exposures to deadly cooking and lighting options.

Click here to view some images from the event.