Arc Knowledge Products

Arc’s learning platform includes publications, blogs, podcasts, and videos, and highlights various innovative approaches being advanced by microfinance institutions, private companies, investors and other entities globally that are making renewable energy and clean water accessible to low-income households and businesses.

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Promoting Solar Energy in Haiti

Arc Finance is committed to sharing the economic and social impact of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. This Infographic documents the work our partner Sogexpress to provide thousands of Haitians with access to affordable clean energy products. Read our Infographic (PDF). ►


Promoting Solar Energy in Haiti

Arc Finance is committed to sharing the economic and social impact of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. This Infographic documents the work our partner Sogexpress to provide thousands of Haitians with access to affordable clean energy products. Read our Infographic (PDF). ►


Arc Finance Fact Sheet

Arc Finance’s mission is to promote and expand access to financing for energy, water and other basic needs to build the income and assets of poor people around the world.
Read our Fact Sheet (PDF). ►


Arc Finance Impact Fact Sheet

Arc Finance is committed to measuring the impact of all its programs in terms of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. Arc also measures and reports on other indicators we view as important for our development agenda. Read our Impact Fact Sheet (PDF). ►


Arc Finance REMMP Fact Sheet

USAID’s Renewable Energy Microfinance and Microenterprise Program (REMMP) is designed to improve access to modern energy services in underserved communities, while at the same time helping USAID partners reduce carbon emissions. A key goal of REMMP is to increase the availability of consumer financing for clean energy services and products to enable low-income populations to gain access to technologies that can improve their livelihoods and quality of life while mitigating climate change. Read our Fact Sheet (PDF). ►


Arc Finance REMMP Impact Fact Sheet

Arc Finance is committed to measuring the impact of its programs in terms of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. Arc also measures and reports on other indicators we view as important for our development agenda. Read our Impact Fact Sheet (PDF). ►


Arc Finance PACE-D TA Impact Fact Sheet

Arc Finance is committed to measuring the impact of its programs in terms of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. Arc also measures and reports on other indicators which we view as important for our development agenda. Read our Impact Fact Sheet (PDF). ►


Arc Finance PACE-D TA Saija MFI Fact Sheet

Saija is an NBFC-MFI (Non Banking Finance Company-Micro Finance Institution) based in the state of Bihar, India, with headquarters in Patna. Saija targets small and micro businesses, in both urban and rural settings, in the underserved geographies of Northern and Eastern India. Under PACE-D, Arc is supporting Saija to develop and scale an energy lending program. Read our Saija MFI Fact Sheet (PDF)


Arc Finance PACE-D TA ESAF MFI Fact Sheet

Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) is an Indian registered charitable society established in 1992 as a response to the social and economic needs of poor people. ESAF organizes community health solutions for the poor, and works on water sanitation, clean energy, nutrition and HIV/AIDS initiatives. Under PACE-D, Arc is supporting ESAF in scaling its energy lending program. Read our ESAF MFI Fact Sheet (PDF). ►


Arc Finance PACE-D TA Sarala MFI Fact Sheet

Sarala, based in West Bengal, is a registered Section 25 not-for-profit company operating as a microfinance institution. It was established in 2006 with a mission to reduce poverty by providing high-quality financial services to low-income communities, with a particular focus on helping poor women gain access to credit. Under PACE-D, Arc is supporting Sarala to develop and scale an energy lending program. Read our Sarala MFI Fact Sheet (PDF)


Arc Country Fact Sheet: Uganda

Arc Finance is committed to measuring the impact of all its programs in terms of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. In Uganda, REMMP is working with SolarNow, a Uganda-based solar company that uses asset finance to provide electricity to off-grid rural communities through modular, expandable Solar Home Systems (SHS). Read our Country Fact Sheet (PDF).►


Lighting Lives in Rural India: Mala’s Story

Arc Finance is committed to sharing the impact of its programs in terms of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. This Impact Story profiles the experiences of a Simpa Networks client as she navigates life in rural India. Read our Impact Story (PDF). ►


Arc Finance Country Fact Sheet: Haiti

Arc Finance is committed to measuring the impact of all its programs in terms of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. In Haiti, REMMP is working with Sogexpress, a leading Haitian money transfer organizations, to strengthen and scale sales of clean energy products through its agent network in Haiti as well as through its international remittances platform. Read our Fact Sheet (PDF).►


Arc Finance Country Fact Sheet: Kenya

Arc Finance is committed to measuring the impact of all its programs in terms of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. In Kenya, REMMP is working with the e-commerce platform MamaMikes to demonstrate the commercial viability of financing clean energy products through online remittances. Read our Fact Sheet (PDF).►


Rebuilding Her Home, One Solar Sale At a Time: Nancy’s Story

Arc Finance is committed to sharing the impact of its programs in terms of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. This Impact Story profiles the experiences of a Sogexpress client as she navigates life in rural Haiti. Read our Impact Story (PDF). ►


REMMP Energy Diaries Fact Sheet

The Energy Diaries is a new research methodology that studies energy uses and spending at the household level. The objective is to improve understanding of the daily realities of the energy poor, understand how energy poverty may impact women and men differently, illustrate what these gendered needs suggest about optimal energy products and services for this market, and identify relevant policy implications for stakeholders to better meet the needs of poor households. Read our Energy Diaries Fact Sheet (PDF).►


From Surviving to Thriving: Nancy’s Story

Arc Finance is committed to sharing the economic and social impact of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. This Photo Essay profiles the experiences of a Sogexpress client as she navigates life in rural Haiti. Read our Photo Essay (PDF) .►


Going Green: Clean Energy that Spurs Economic Growth

Arc Finance is committed to sharing the economic and social impact of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. This Photo Essay profiles the experiences of clients as they navigate life in rural India, Uganda and Haiti. Read our Photo Essay (PDF). ►


Sarala’s Energy Lending Program

Sarala Development and Microfinance is a microfinance institution (MFI) operating in Northeastern India. With the support of the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy–Deployment Technical Assistance (PACE-D TA) Program, Sarala has launched and quickly scaled a clean energy lending program for its microfinance client base. In just under two years, Sarala has helped over 100,000 women access clean energy, improving clients’ quality of life with reliable and clean energy,and reduced dependence on harmful traditional fuels. Read the Case Study (PDF).►


Saija’s Energy Lending Initiative

Saija Finance Private Limited is a microfinance institution (MFI) operating in Northern and Eastern India. With the support of the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy–Deployment Technical Assistance (PACE-D TA) Program, Saija has piloted and scaled both a hybrid Loan Office/Energy Office business model and solar lighting energy lending program for its clients which has dually increased its own institutional capacity and helped thousands of poor households get access to clean energy to reduce the use of harmful traditional fuels and improve their livelihoods. Read the Case Study (PDF).►


Bandhan’s Energy Lending Initiative

Bandhan Konnagar is part of the Bandhan Group, which provides microfinance services to 7.6 million borrowers — almost all women — through 2,022 branches across 24 Indian states. In 2013, Bandhan created an energy program to provide a microfinance facility for high-quality solar devices. Bandhan aims to harness the enormous scale of its existing microfinance business to scale its energy lending activities, and transform millions of lives by making modern energy services accessible to India’s rural poor. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


Bringing Light to Bihar: The Power of Women Entrepreneurs

Over 100 million people in India live in darkness once the sun goes down. With the help of Arc Finance and USAID, BASIX is providing trade financing to women in rural Bihar, India. Solar entrepreneurship enables these women to access affordable and reliable clean energy and increase their livelihoods. With Arc’s technical assistance, BASIX has launched Vayam Renewable, which markets, sells and finances energy products for low-income consumers in rural communities and trains and supports a network of village-based solar retailer-technicians. Watch our video. ►


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Meet Rakendra: A Simpa Networks Solar Agent

Over 100 million people in India live in darkness once the sun sets. With the help of Arc Finance and USAID, Simpa Networks is selling solar home systems to poor households in rural India, and making them affordable by allowing customers to pay on an incremental basis using its proprietary “pay-as-you-go” metering technology. This video profiles the work of a Simpa Solar Agent as he helps clients gain access to reliable, modern energy. Watch our video. ►


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DCBS Brings Light to West Bengal

DCBS is a small, community-based and per-urban MFI that operates in more than 200 village communities in West Bengal. It has an active client base of about 12,000 women borrowers. In December 2012, DCBS began promoting a new solar lantern loan product to existing clients which is now expanding to non-clients too. With Arc’s technical assistance, DCBS has continued sales of solar lanterns by financing end-user clients as well as agents, generating local employment and investing in the futures of women and girls. Watch our video. ►


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Utkarsh Brings Light to Uttar Pradesh

Over 100 million people in India live in darkness once the sun goes down. With the help of Arc Finance and USAID, Utkarsh is providing financing for poor people to purchase solar lanterns in Uttar Pradesh, radically improving their lives. With Arc’s technical assistance, Utkarsh has continued sales of solar lanterns by financing end-user clients as well as agents, generating local employment and investing in the futures of women and girls. Watch our video. ►


Innovations In Scaling Off-Grid Clean Energy Event, Washington, D.C. 2015

This series of seven videos captures a full-day 2015 workshop entitled “Innovations In Scaling Off-Grid Clean Energy: Business Models to Promote Consumer Financing.” Organized by Arc Finance in conjunction with USAID, the day featured stakeholders from across the sector discussing the latest innovations in scaling off-grid clean energy access to the poor. Watch our video series. ►


Innovations in Financing Event, NYC 2015

This series of four videos captures a full-day 2015 workshop entitled “Innovations in Financing: The Nexus Between Energy, Distribution And Finance.” Organized by Arc Finance in conjunction with USAID, the day featured stakeholders from across the sector discussing the latest innovations in consumer and institutional finance for providing small-scale clean energy access to the poor.
Watch our video series. ►


Simpa Networks Brings “Pay-as-You-Go” to Rural Consumers

Simpa Networks uses asset finance to provide electricity to off-grid rural communities through modular, expandable Solar Home Systems (SHSs). Through its proprietary “Progressive Purchase” metering technology, Simpa’s clients pay to use their Solar Home Systems through monthly pre-paid installments, and own the assets by the end of the period, making solar technology “radically affordable” and bringing the social and economic benefits of modern energy to underserved communities. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


Improving Access to Electricity in Haiti through Solar Energy and Diaspora Engagement

This fact sheet provides an overview of Arc’s Finance’s partner Sogexpress’ new initiative, Klere Ayiti, which seeks to address energy poverty in Haiti. Klere Ayiti, a collaboration of Sogexpress with Western Union, has created a new online platform to enable the Haitian diaspora to use remittances to finance renewable energy products for relatives in Haiti. View our Fact Sheet (PDF). ►


Financing Sustainable Energy Through Remittance Flows in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

2009 Arc Finance / BASE
Arc Finance, BASE, and the Mexican market research firm Mercaei collaborated on a research project to assess the feasibility of using remittances to finance renewable energy products. Through market research with Haitian and Dominican immigrants in the New York area, the project team identified a number of promising business models for financing and distributing sustainable energy products, developed a strong network of distribution partners, and built a comprehensive understanding of the energy sector in Haiti. This report, commissioned by the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank, summarizes the findings. Read our report (PDF). ►


SolarNow Brings Asset Finance for Solar to Rural Customers

SolarNow uses asset finance to provide electricity to off-grid rural communities through modular, expandable Solar Home Systems (SHSs). The SolarNow approach is to integrate an increasing range of energy efficient appliances into the company’s product line, a tactic that both improves lives and increases demand for its energy systems. Established as a social enterprise in May 2011, SolarNow grew out of the Rural Energy Foundation, a Dutch run NGO providing distribution and training support for the use of SHSs across Africa. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


Innovations in Financing Event, NYC 2014

This series of six videos captures a full-day 2014 workshop entitled “Innovations in Financing 2015: Evolving Consumer Finance Business Models.” Organized by Arc Finance in conjunction with USAID, the day featured stakeholders from across the sector discussing the latest innovations in consumer and institutional finance for providing small-scale clean energy access to the poor. Watch our video series. ► 


In-House Asset Finance for Small-Scale Renewable Energy

In-house asset finance provides customers with a pay plan that allows them to purchase a product on an installment basis. The benefits of providing in-house credit are compelling, but it is a complex and challenging undertaking. In this Briefing Note, read a synopsis of how four energy companies – SolarNow, Simpa Networks, Grameen Shakti and M-Kopa – have successfully developed an in-house asset finance capacity. Read our Briefing Note (PDF). ►


Pay-As-You-Go Technologies in Consumer Energy Finance

Many poor consumers can’t afford to pay for alternatives to expensive, low-quality energy sources, such as kerosene, candles and batteries, because of the up-front costs of solar systems and clean cookstoves. Pay-As-You-Go models (PAYG) allow customers to pay for energy services over time, spreading the cost of a unit over several months. In this Briefing Note, read about six innovative models and technologies from Azuri Technologies, Angaza Design, Lumeter Networks, M-KOPA, Fenix International and SIMPA Networks, and the many beneficial impacts of their work. Read our Briefing Note (PDF). ►


Financing Small-Scale Clean Energy Using Remittances

With assistance from Arc, Sogexpress, a Money Transfer Organization, has tapped into the multi-billion-dollar remittance stream from the Haitian diaspora to supply small-scale clean energy solutions to Haitians lacking energy services. In this Briefing Note, read a synopsis of Sogexpress’ pioneering remittances model, which is successfully supplying solar products to those who need them most. Read our Briefing Note (PDF). ►


Crowdfunding in the Energy Access Space

Crowdfunding raises vast sums of untapped capital by aggregating small amounts from the pocketbooks of ordinary people around the globe, typically on a web platform and through social networks. In just a couple of decades, crowdfunding sites have come to occupy an increasingly segmented, specialized and competitive online marketplace of over US$5 billion. In this Briefing Note, read about crowdfunding examples related to the energy access space that are representative of this growing diversity: Indiegogo, Kiva, Milaap and SunFunder. Read our Briefing Note (PDF). ►


Seventh Microfinance Panel: Financing Solutions for Clean Energy in Latin America

Arc Finance Managing Director Niki Armacost discusses Financing Solutions for Clean Energy in Latin America at the Americas Society/Council of the America’s 7th Microfinance Panel in New York City, January 30, 2014. She is joined by panelists Gregory Watson, Head, Strategic Planning and Team Leader, Clean Energy, Multilateral Investment Fund, Inter-American Development Bank; and Amy Wang, Investment Officer, Global Social Investment Funds, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas. The panel was moderated by Christian Gómez, Jr., Director of Energy, Council of the Americas. Watch the video. ►


Microfinance Summit, Manila 2013

This day-long, pre-event workshop, held in conjunction with the 2013 Microcredit Summit in Manila, was organized by Arc Finance and brought together high-level representatives from MFIs, energy enterprises, government entities and donors to engage MFIs on financing renewable energy. This video series was made possible with generous support from USAID. Watch the video series. ►


Innovations in Financing Event, NYC 2013

Innovations in Financing Small Scale Clean Energy, a full-day workshop organized by Arc Finance in conjunction with USAID and the Sustainable Energy for All Energy Access Practitioner Network, brought together a range of stakeholders to discuss the innovations in financing now being deployed in the small-scale, clean energy space. These sessions were made possible with generous support from USAID. Watch our video series. ►


Milaap Uses Crowdfunding to Catalyze Energy Microfinance

Founded in 2010, Milaap is a Bangalore-based social enterprise that deploys online lending and other innovative funding methods to fill the existing capital gap for microfinance institutions (MFIs) interested in building lending portfolios for energy, water and other essential services. By channeling low-cost, flexible loan capital from an expanding base of both online and offline lenders to a select group of MFI field partners, Milaap is directly impacting the lives of a growing number of poor people throughout rural India. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


Using Remittances to Finance Clean Energy: Inspiring the Haitian Diaspora to Combat Climate Change

Haiti has one of the lowest electricity access rates in the world, with only 12.5% of its population legally connected to the grid. Remittances offer a new solution for helping to finance the purchase and distribution of energy devices. Given its energy needs, and the size and location of its diaspora-based population, Haiti was an ideal country to test a remittances-backed business model for clean energy. The model uses remittance flows to facilitate the purchase and distribution of small-scale renewable energy devices, thereby fostering the use of clean and efficient energy technology among the energy-poor. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


FWWB-I’s Solar Microloan Initiative — Leveraging a Network to Reach India’s Most Isolated Region

In 2009, Friends of Women’s World Banking-India (FWWB-I), an apex microfinance organization, added energy access to its mandate when it collaborated with five partner institutions to launch a solar lantern credit initiative in the conflict-rife state of Manipur. This pioneering effort has helped catalyze the Indian microfinance sector to initiate energy-lending programs. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


NWTF’s Business Partner Model — Bolstering Both Energy Demand and Supply Through Microfinance

Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF), an MFI based in the Philippines, launched energy operations in 2009. Since then it has continuously modified its approach, experimenting with new methods of engaging its staff and clients to realize its impact objectives. This case study surveys a sample of the key adaptations that the organization has made to increase impact and sales, as well as improve the long-term sustainability of its program. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


XacBank’s Eco-Banking Department — Improving Air Quality with Credit, Carbon Finance and Smart Subsidies

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia ranks as one of the most polluted urban areas on the planet. In 2009, XacBank, Mongolia’s largest microfinance institution (MFI), made a commitment to address this public health threat head-on. XacBank’s evolving model combines innovative approaches to product development, quality assurance, consumer education, logistics and distribution. XacBank is also among the first MFIs to leverage carbon revenues to help sustain operations. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


The Buksh Foundation’s Solar Loan Initiative — Sparking a “Clean Energy Movement” in Pakistan

The Buksh Foundation, a Pakistani MFI, takes a unique approach to addressing a critical need that is faced by virtually all of its business clients: lack of access to reliable and affordable electricity. In 2010, the organization began to explore clean energy finance as a solution to this escalating challenge. Today, Buksh Foundation’s solar loan program is taking direct aim at the problem, and has emerged as the fastest growing area of its portfolio. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


Solar Sister’s Energy Consignment Model — Women Micro-Retailers Drive Solar Product Adoption in East Africa

Founded in 2010, Solar Sister brings affordable solar lamps and small solar systems to communities in East Africa. Using an Avon-style distribution system, Solar Sister creates vital access to clean energy technology by building and extending the supply chain through women’s rural networks. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


UpEnergy’s Carbon Credit Initiative — Driving Down the Costs of Clean Cookstove Adoption

UpEnergy is a San Francisco-based social enterprise that is a leader in the use of carbon credits in developing markets. It finances, builds, and supports distribution channels for products such as high efficiency cookstoves, water purification technologies, and solar lights using carbon credit mechanisms. In Uganda, UpEnergy has focused on cookstoves since launching in October 2011. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


Stima Systems’ Group Microleasing Model — Promoting Payment and Reducing Risk at the Group Level

Kenya-based energy company Stima Systems has developed a distinct approach to service delivery and end-user affordability: the group microlease. Group microleasing leverages the prevalence, structure and internal dynamics of community-based savings groups to mitigate a number of critical risks and barriers that often limit access to clean energy for poor people around the world. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


Microfinance in Asia: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

In 2009, Arc was commissioned by the Foundation for Development Cooperation (FDC) to draft an article on the link between microfinance, energy, water and sanitation based on the proceedings of the 2008 Microfinance Forum held in Vietnam. The article was published as chapter 7 of Microfinance in Asia: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities. Read our article (PDF). ►


End-User Finance: A Guide for Sustainable Energy Enterprises and NGOs

2009 Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy
The purpose of this guide, which is geared at energy enterprises, is to introduce the concept of end-user finance, to summarize key issues involved in providing finance for the purchase of sustainable energy products and services, and to provide recommendations on how to develop an end-user finance strategy. The target audience for this publication is energy enterprises. Read our Guide (PDF). ►


Making Energy Microfinance Work in the Philippines — a Conversation with Raymond Serios, Special Projects Manager at NWTF

The Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) is a one of the Philippines’ oldest and largest microfinance institutions, serving nearly 140,000 clients across the nation’s central island region. Among institutional practitioners of energy microfinance, NWTF is notable for its inventive, trial-and-error approach to problem-solving and program development. It is also known for its patient, long-term commitment to building a strong, high impact and commercially sustainable model. In this episode, Raymond Serios provides a nuts and bolts account of how the MFI draws on experimentation, client feedback and a close study of the evolving clean energy market to adapt and build its successful energy lending program.

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A Vision for Energy Access in Rural Pakistan — a Conversation with Fiza Farhan, CEO of the Buksh Foundation

The Buksh Foundation is a microfinance institution based in Lahore, Pakistan. In 2010, the organization piloted a clean energy loan program to help business clients better cope with Pakistan’s escalating electricity crisis. In this episode, CEO Fiza Farhan discusses the MFI’s vision of expanding energy access, and the diverse activities – including product design –that it engages in to realize it.

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Group-based Solar Microleasing in Kenya — a Conversation with Konrad App, CEO of Stima Systems

Stima Systems is a Kenya-based energy startup that delivers affordable lighting and charging services to low-income off-grid customers using a distinct payment model: the group microlease. In this conversation Stima CEO Konrad App shares the origins of Stima’s model and provides insights into the power of groups to expand access and support commercial viability.
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