16 September 2014
The Clean Energy Solutions Center, in partnership with United Nations Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network, hosted this webinar to showcase work underway in pay-as-you-go technologies and business models that Practitioner Network members are testing and scaling. This webinar was part of the broader work that the UN Foundation is undertaking on energy access within the UN and the World Bank’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Speakers in the session showcased their respective organizations’ approaches to pay-as-you-go models, discussed and contrasted specific geographic contexts, and shared their respective challenges and successes to provide collective best practices. Practitioner Network members presented on their organizations’ work in this area, and their presentations were followed by a discussion among the panelists, moderated by Jacob Winiecki, Energy Sector Specialist, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). The webinar concluded with an interactive question-and-answer session with webinar participants.
Jacob Winiecki, Energy Sector Specialist, CGAP
Jacob Winiecki is an energy access specialist with over nine years of experience developing innovative approaches to financing modern energy for low-income consumers in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. He manages digital finance and energy access research and partnerships for the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), and he is an Entrepreneur in Residence with Invested Development. Jacob is a Co-Founder of Simpa Networks, an India-based solar asset financing startup that sells solar on a pay-as-you-go basis. Prior joining Simpa, Jacob developed energy-focused end-user finance programs with banks, microfinance institutions and solar companies across 10 countries with Arc Finance and Sustainable Energy Solutions. Jacob holds a Master's degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and a Bachelor's degree in Financial Accounting from George Mason University.
Yasemin Erboy Ruff, Senior Associate, Energy and Climate, United Nations Foundation
Yasemin Erboy is a Senior Associate with the UN Foundation's Energy Access team, primarily coordinating efforts to scale up energy access in developing countries. She manages member relations for the Energy Access Practitioner Network and leads research work within the Network. Yasemin majored in environmental science at Columbia University and gained her Master's degree in Environmental Management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, with a focus on climate change and resource management.
Mansoor Hamayun, Co-Founder and CEO, BBOXX
Mansoor Hamayun is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of BBOXX, a dynamic young company that designs, manufactures, distributes and finances innovative solar systems to improve access to energy across Africa and the developing world. Since 2010, BBOXX has sold 41,000 solar kits and impacted 205,000 lives. Born in 1988 in Pakistan, he was raised in Sweden and he studied Electrical Engineering at Imperial College London. From 2008-2010 he was the founder and leader of a student charity, e.quinox, which brought electricity to 6 villages in Rwanda. Following university, Mansoor worked as a manager for Rolls-Royce Civil Aviation business, supporting the introduction of Boeing 787 Dreamliner for LAN airlines, working on corporate cost reduction in the Asian region service and overhaul business. As CEO, Mansoor leads BBOXX in all aspects of its business – from its engineering lab in London to its factory in China, to distribution to partners in 26 countries as well as 30 local shops in Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda. Mansoor specializes in conducting business in Africa, rural electrification, renewable energy technology, developmental engineering, energy supply chain, and manufacturing. He is regularly invited to share his experience in the solar industry, most recently at the annual Cleantech Forum Europe, and has written for the Huffington Post. Mansoor is a Pakistan-Swedish national with fluent English, Swedish and Urdu. He resides in London.
Klara Lindner, Product and Service Developer, Mobisol GmbH
Klara Lindner has been working at the intersection of microfinance and energy since 2009. Her academic background is in engineering, business and design thinking. She joined Mobisol GmbH in 2011 to design and coordinate the pilot implementation phase, and she now focuses on Mobisol's product innovation. She is doing her PhD on service design for decentralized energy provision at the Postgraduate Program in Microenergy Systems.
Graham Smith, Vice President of Business Development, Off-Grid Electric
Graham Smith is part of the executive team of Off Grid Electric Ltd. His work focuses on securing financing, government relations, building partnerships and developing the company’s expansion strategy. Prior to Off Grid Electric, Graham previously held positions in consulting and finance, working with organizations across the private, public and social sectors. Additionally he spent several years with the Clinton Foundation, focused on strengthening healthcare systems and developing financing approaches to increase access to medicines for over 70 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Graham has studied at Stanford University, Oxford University and Queen’s University (Canada). He was a Skoll Associate Fellow at Oxford and was named an Ideas Scholar by Atlantic Magazine and the Aspen Institute.
Paul Needham, President and Co-Founder, Simpa Networks
Paul Needham co-founded Simpa Networks with the mission to make clean energy simple, affordable and investible. Simpa sells solar-as-a-service to energy-poor households and micro-enterprises in rural India. Mr. Needham is a seasoned Infotech entrepreneur, having started several companies and sold two. Paul has 14 years in senior leadership roles in Infotech and energy access sectors, having held CEO, VP and Director level roles at private and public companies including Microsoft. Paul holds a Master’s degree in Development Economics from Cambridge University and now lives with his family in Bangalore, India.