Innovative Consumer Financing for Cooking Energy Access
This webinar explores various consumer financing approaches for expanding access to clean cooking fuels for household energy, including microfinance, pay-as-you-cook and digital finance.
The Global LPG Partnership shares lessons from its microfinance program in Cameroon and Kenya, which supports low-income families’ upfront switching costs to cook with LPG (bottled gas). KopaGas discusses its innovative business model enabling customers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to purchase LPG fuel on a pay-as-you-cook basis. CGAP shares insights from the use of microfinance, pay-as-you-go and digital finance in the solar electricity sector, and how they could inform future clean cooking sector innovations.
Sebastian is an entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience at the intersection of information technology and sustainable energy systems. He leads KopaGas on its mission to develop technology that democratizes clean cooking. In Tanzania, KopaGas is a leading LPG retailer by volume through its ‘Cook Better’ program and a strategic partnership with Oryx Energies. Before KopaGas, Sebastian worked in different ventures developing core technology for advanced metering platforms and geospatial planning tools. He has also worked at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, The MDG Center for West Africa and The World Bank. Sebastian received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London and an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manchester in the UK.
Alexander Sotiriou leads CGAP's work on Financial Innovations for Development, which aims to understand how innovations in financial services can be used to address some of the most pressing challenges in development, including access to energy, water, and education. He joined CGAP from MicroVest, where he was the investment manager for Latin America and managed a portfolio of investments in the region’s leading microfinance and small and medium enterprise finance institutions. Mr. Sotiriou has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Arizona.
As Program Manager, Energy and Microfinance at The Global LPG Partnership, Meixi oversees program design, execution, and impact evaluation of consumer finance projects for clean cooking energy access across Sub-Saharan Africa. She has been both a practitioner and a policymaker in the infrastructure and energy sectors. Prior to GLPGP, she worked for the Monetary Authority of Singapore, implementing programs to enhance Singapore’s financial sector participation in infrastructure financing and public-private partnerships, as well as trade financing, in emerging markets. Meixi holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs, focusing on Global Energy Management & Policy, from Columbia University in New York City.
Richenda Van Leeuwen
Richenda is Chair, International Institutions at The Global LPG Partnership and a member of the World Bank's Energy Program's (ESMAP) Technical Advisory Group (TAG). From 2010-2016 she led Energy Access at the UN Foundation and its engagement with the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. Richenda previously worked in private equity and as an impact investor in emerging markets renewable energy. She also served as CEO of international women's micro-entrepreneurship NGO, Trickle Up for nearly five years. She is a board director of SELCO India and Energy 4 Impact and a founding U.S. Women's "Clean Energy Ambassador" (C3E initiative).