UNCDF’s Renewable Energy Challenge Fund (RECF) offers grants to support solar enterprises in Uganda and to help low-income people transition to cleaner, more efficient energy. The objective of this project was to help UNCDF assess and understand the company-by-company business model and relevant data of seven solar enterprises that did not receive grants but with high potential for growth. This is a practical and value-adding step to strengthen the solar industry in Uganda by providing targeted assistance to these companies, identifying company and sector hurdles, and developing technical and business development recommendations to strengthen such companies.

After a thorough evaluation of business plans, current operations and financial performance, the SIPA Capstone team provided a series of recommendations for the seven solar companies and provided UNCDF with additional information on the challenges and opportunities faced by the solar industry in Uganda.

The SIPA Capstone team developed this project in three stages. First, it designed a Technical Assistance (TA) framework to assess companies both qualitatively and quantitatively, and conducted phone interviews with the seven companies, so as to better understand their core businesses and development needs. Second, the team traveled to Uganda during the week of March 16-23, 2019 to interview key stakeholders, including the seven enterprises, sales agents, solar product consumers, the Uganda Solar Energy Association, and the UNCDF RECF team.  Lastly, the team structured all the information collected in the previous two stages to come up with a series of recommendations for UNCDF, the seven solar enterprises and USEA. 

Ultimately, UNCDF expects to use the report’s findings to streamline its technical assistance to the solar industry in Uganda, while solar enterprises expect to use the recommendations to bolster their performance.