Conference proceedings

Conference proceedings

Panel - Promoting SME Finance for the Renewable Energy


Moderator: Sebastian von Wolf, Head of Finance Advisory, GET.invest GIZ  

Jeannetta Craigwell-Graham, Finance Catalyst Advisor, GET.invest 

Tony Francis Ntore, CEO, Rwanda Bankers Association  

Ancha Omar, Head of Business Development, Banco Nacional de Investimento (BNI) 



Decentral renewable energy is a key building block for fighting climate change and reaching SDGs especially in developing countries. SMEs are understood as key enablers for reaching these ambitious global goals. Although investments in the sector have increased significantly, this is still mostly driven by outside capital and in foreign currency. Hence, fostering the domestic financial sector can and should play a catalytic role in enabling SME-led renewable energy investments, thereby contributing to job creation and sustainability at the same time. 

The aim of the session is to provide insights into how a joined GIZ/ GET.invest project fosters  access to domestic finance for SMEs operating in the renewable energy sectors in Rwanda and Mozambique. A special focus will be put on how the work with the demand side (SMEs) is linked to the work with the supply side (financiers).  


Key takeaways

  • There is indeed a need to stimulate the expansion of the Green Business and Energy Efficiency segment and promote a financial sector committed to sustainability.  

  • SMEs have several points when it comes to doing business in the renewable energy sector such as knowledge of local markets, specialization needs, minor financial, and technical obstacles. 

  • Some of the biggest challenges faced by SMEs is the access to financing especially the energy market tends to contain heavy regulations. 

  • Supporting local banks will ultimately lead to an increase in the bank's portfolio as well as create better access to finance for the local SMEs. 


Words of Wisdom

  • “So we are therefore obviously convinced that the domestic financial sector can, and also should play a catalytic role in enabling SME led energy investments by providing local currency and, by offering dedicated financing products for the needs of the local SMEs.” Sebastian von Wolf, Head of Finance Advisory, GET.invest GIZ  

  • “Very few companies across sectors including renewable energy sector are actually invested by venture capital. They get investment from private equity.” Jeannetta Craigwell-Graham, Finance Catalyst Advisor, GET.invest 

  • “We aim to become a stronger, efficient, and sustainable organization that really contributes to the development of the banking industry.” Tony Francis Ntore, CEO, Rwanda Bankers Association  

  • “We need to come up with products and services that can provide difference between what we do and what commercial bank do. Energy is one of the sector that is still new to the market.” Ancha Omar, Head of Business Development, Banco Nacional de Investimento (BNI)