Small business, big demand: facilitating finance for productive uses of energy in Tanzania

Access to affordable and reliable energy enables growth of local economies. And demand for energy ensures feasibility of business models for decentralised energy solutions such as mini-grids. Demand is not necessarily automatic, and an important part of demand stimulation is through productive uses of energy (PUE): using energy to increase income and productivity. But many communities need additional support to establish PUE more quickly, and financing is a key barrier for scaling PUE. Women especially face socio-cultural barriers that hinder PUE. This paper discusses the experiences of community businesses (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and smallholder farmers) in their use of and access to energy. It aims to give a better understanding of the finance needs of community businesses using PUE, and explores opportunities for unlocking affordable access to finance.