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Productive use of renewable energy supporting applied entrepreneurship – Lessons learned from a development project in rural Ethiopia

  • Access to affordable energy - for basic needs as well as for national economic development - is a crucial concern for developing countries. Access to modern and sustainable energy services in rural areas, where the majority of the population is living in poverty, is a particularly urgent challenge, and one which has been recognized as crucial within the global development agenda. The current dominant development model, focused on achieving macro-economic growth, gives priority to large-scale or centralized energy infrastructures for national growth or for meeting the urban demand. Rural areas of poorer countries are often at a disadvantage in terms of access to all types of services – roads, health facilities, markets, information and clean water. The high cost of providing these services in remote areas has led to new approaches being tried, based on self-help and the private sector rather than traditional government-led solutions. The missing access to electricity is primarily the reason for the poor operational environment of entrepreneurship especially in rural areas of developing countries, which poses many barriers to their development and limits their competitiveness. Energy services for household, agriculture and production serve as best examples as sectors exposed to enable entrepreneurship by productive use of renewable energy. This paper describes the line-up, the challenges and the outcome of a development project in rural Ethiopia to support entrepreneurship based on the usage of renewable energy, in this case mainly photo-voltaic technology. In particular, this study tries to show up key features which are required to enable sustainable energy access and foster implementation challenges of developed business models in practice. Based on this experience, the paper discusses implications and lessons learned for a further development.

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Document Type:Conference Object
Author:Selomie Daniel, Elmar Steurer, Bernard Wagemann
Parent Title (English):Bode, Freitag (Eds.): Universities, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development in Africa - Conference Proceedings 2016. Sankt Augustin, Germany, 10-11 November 2016
First Page:7
Last Page:24
Date of first publication:2017/08/03
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):3 Sozialwissenschaften / 30 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie / 300 Sozialwissenschaften
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 65 Management, Öffentlichkeitsarbeit / 658 Allgemeines Management
Conference volumes:Universities, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development in Africa / Universities, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development in Africa, Sankt Augustin, Germany, 10-11 November 2016
Entry in this database:2017/08/09