The Rural Futures Fund
Using a mini-grid’s existing, energy consuming entrepreneurs and other high-yield connections as collateral to provide developers with low-cost capital to build more mini-grids.
Not all mini-grid connections are equal. A small householder using a minigrid connection to replace dirty and dangerous kerosene will generate a tiny fraction of the revenue of a commercial maize mill operator for example. The latter represents a commercial investment opportunity, the former a socially responsible intervention. Till now, these very different customers have been lumped together, damaging the financial case for private sector investors and muddying the waters for social impact or national government investment. For the first time, these connections can be disaggregated and packaged according to the finance most suitable for each. This unbundling promises to open up more targeted developmental interventions and unlock the hitherto inaccessible types of commercial investor necessary for the industry to finally reach scale.