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Using Microfinance to Expand Access to Energy Services Image

Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

Using Microfinance to Expand Access to Energy Services: The Emerging Experiences in Asia of Self-Employed Women’s  Association Bank (SEWA), Sarvodaya Economic Enterprise  Development Services (SEEDS), Nirdhan Utthan Bank Limited  (NUBL), and AMRET

Using Microfinance to Expand Access to Energy Services: The Emerging Experiences in Asia of Self-Employed Women’s Association Bank (SEWA), Sarvodaya Economic Enterprise Development Services (SEEDS), Nirdhan Utthan Bank Limited (NUBL), and AMRET

Summary

There is no question that microfinance and consumer lending can improve access to quality modern energy services for poor consumers. Such loans help offset the high upfront cost associated with cleaner technologies, such as biogas, micro hydro power, wind, solar, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). To date, an overwhelming majority of financial support for rural energy applications has been publicly funded. Although these programs are beneficial, increased access to loans for consumers is essential to engage the private sector, improve the investment climate for rural energy services, and leverage the outreach and impact. A deeper understanding of the business opportunities for small-scale lending for energy services, as well as the most effective way microfinance institutions (MFIs) can respond to these opportunities, will facilitate access to appropriate financial services.

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