Our Recent Work

Innovation

Venture Builder

VentureBuilder is pioneering a new model to provide deep technical expertise and capital to scale African-owned and -managed off-grid solar enterprises. VentureBuilder has been co-developed by Catalyst Off-Grid Advisors and Open Capital Advisors since 2017, leveraging both companies’ decades of experience in building, advising, and financing off-grid solar companies. The development phase was made possible with support from Facebook, who also committed additional financing alongside the DOEN Foundation, Shell Foundation, and USAID for the implementation phase. For more information please see www.venture-builder.com

Research

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Achieving SDG 7: The Need to Disrupt Off-Grid Electricity Financing in Africa

Catalyst was retained by the Shell Foundation in 2017 to develop their flagship report that underpins the Foundation’s current strategic areas of focus on energy access. The Report was based on two predictive models developed by Catalyst whose primary outputs illustrate the continuum of capital required to deliver universal energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by 2030 and to propose innovative new ways in which capital could be blended to better meet the needs of off-grid energy companies (SHS and mini-grid) at different stages of growth. The report can be found here: 

https://shellfoundation.org/app/uploads/2018/10/Achieving-SDG-7-The-Need-to-Disrupt-Off-Grid-Electricity-Financing-in-Africa.pdf 

You can watch a webinar that presents the report’s key findings here: Webinar.

 
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Lasting Impact: Sustainable Off-Grid Solar Delivery Models to Power Health and Education

Launched in April 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya, this report draws on case studies from around the world to examine how different delivery models promote – and likewise, hinder - the long-term sustainability of off-grid solar projects in public institutions. This new research underscores the importance of electrification strategies that harness public, private and philanthropic efforts, but with a greater focus on the operation and maintenance of solutions. The report offers key insights for partners and stakeholders, and makes recommendations to governments, their development partners, and philanthropic entities regarding the design of robust, off-grid public-facility electrification projects. You can read the report here:  https://www.seforall.org/sites/default/files/2019-04/Powering-Health_042019.pdf

A webinar presenting the key findings can be found here:  https://youtu.be/dq0MYPnT27o

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Energizing Finance: Taking the Pulse 2019

Catalyst was mandated by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) to develop the 2019 edition of Taking the Pulse, part its flagship research series, Energizing Finance. The report details the energy access financing challenge faced in three countries: Madagascar, the Philippines and Uganda. It relied heavily on an empirically-based model to derive projected financing needs for each of the focus countries. The report examines historical trends with respect to electrification and cooking in each of the countries and establishes baseline scenarios. It then utilizes the electrification and cooking forecasts to establish the volume and blend of capital that would be required for enterprises to deliver energy services to households.


Advisory

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Transaction Advisor, international fund manager selection for the Off-Grid Electricity Fund, Haiti

Catalyst was competitively selected by the Republic of Haiti’s Ministry of Public Works, Transport, and Communications to provide technical and financial advisory services related to the competitive selection process of an international fund manager (Bamboo Capital Partners) for the Republic of Haiti’s Off Grid Electricity Fund (OGEF).

In addition to supporting the selection and negotiations process, Catalyst also advised on the finalization of the OGEF’s core operational, investment, and governance protocols. The Fund has been established as a 10-year structure with plans to raise further capital, in addition to the current USD$17 million. The Fund will invest debt and equity in companies that provide renewable off grid energy access solutions to people in Haiti, ranging from mini grids to pay-as-you-go solar products.

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BRILHO Mozambique

The £22.8 million UK-Aid backed BRILHO programme aims to increase energy access in Mozambique through innovative private sector provision of, and investment in, off grid renewables, expanding market access of off-grid renewable energy products and related services to rural communities and businesses in Mozambique. As part of the SNV-led consortium, Catalyst is advising on the design, set up, and delivery of the program’s Market Development Fund and Business Development Support activities. 

http://www.snv.org/project/brilho-energy-africa-programme

Training

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GOGLA equity academy

GOGLA, the off-grid solar industry association, hired Catalyst to develop an investment academy on the topic of early stage equity financing. Based on desk research and extensive interviews with investors and entrepreneurs, Catalyst developed content that covered typical stages of seed- to early-stage financing in the off-grid solar (OGS) sector, as well as providing insight and examples of key investment terms and equity valuation practices that are most appropriate for early stage companies operating in this industry. The material was delivered in-person at GOGLA’s Annual General Meeting, via a webinar, and in summary form via a briefing note.   

https://www.gogla.org/sites/default/files/resource_docs/gogla_equity_academy_-_briefing_note_finalpdf.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sOi2Rhscuo