Thanks to Impact Investment, Jiro-Ve plans to More than Triple Access to Renewable Energy in Madagascar

Jul 04, 2022

ANTANANARIVO, MADAGASCAR, March 11, 2021 – Jiro-Ve, a solar energy company in Madagascar and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) announce a new impact investment that will make renewable energy accessible to hundreds of thousands of people and small businesses in Madagascar. The loan from CRS will help the company expand production, create jobs for young entrepreneurs, and provide energy to even more people in hard-to-reach areas through CRS’ vast grassroots network.

“Renewable energy is the answer for millions of rural families with no access to electricity, especially the most vulnerable which are often most difficult to reach,” said Rik Stamhuis, Jiro-Ve Managing Director & Co-founder. “Our investors and partners share our vision to deliver positive impact on the planet, its people and communities.”

In Madagascar, only about 20% of people have access to electricity. Most rural families use candles and kerosene lamps, which can be expensive for low-income earners, harmful to the environment and negatively affect people’s health.

powerbank Jiro-Ve

Jiro Ve uses a franchise-based operating model, whereby young entrepreneurs partner with the company to grow their business by renting solar lights and power banks. Currently, Jiro-Ve provides energy to 65,000 people in 11 regions and intend to grow this number to more than 230,000 by 2023.

“The partnership with Jiro Ve is an integral part of our strategy to promote local leadership and entrepreneurship in low-resource countries like Madagascar,” said Jim Hazen, a CRS program director. “CRS is proud to invest in a company whose business model supports small entrepreneurs while providing a key resource they need to thrive.”

Families benefit from having lights on after dark. New mothers in particular find it easier to take care of newborns through the night. For school children, solar lights make it possible to study for a few extra hours at night. Multiple studies show that when households have access to electricity, educational outcomes improve.

Increasingly, international organizations like CRS partner with local companies and consumers to provide innovative local solutions to local problems. In rural communities in Madagascar, CRS and Jiro Ve will use an abundant source of renewable solar energy to provide low-cost power that conserves energy, reduces the risk of accidental fires from candles and kerosene fires, and is sustainable in the long term.

“We are very pleased to have CRS completing our funding round by co-investing with I&P (Investisseurs & Partenaires). Our partnership with CRS not only brings in additional investment, but also access to a great deal of experience and a vast network of consumers. We believe that by combining our unique strengths, we can make a significant impact on the quality of life and success of thousands of Malagasy people,” Mr. Stamhuis said.

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