A growing number of women are looking at the solar energy sector for entrepreneurial opportunities. In addition to its numerous entrepreneurial opportunities, the solar technology field is attractive because it provides meaningful opportunities to build economically and environmentally sustainable societies. The use of renewable energy contributes to clean energy transitions, sustainable development and creation of new employment opportunities.

The integration of renewable energy comes with new value chains and opportunities for localisation. With an unemployment rate at over 30% in South Africa, this sector affords the country an opportunity to create an inclusive energy and power sector. Women remain grossly underrepresented across the full value chains of energy and power in South Africa, the continent and the globe.

As countries gear up to achieve net-zero emissions in years to come, both public and private sector organisations will be looking for novel and cost efficient solutions to their energy demands. These emerging opportunities demand that there is a pool of competent suppliers. It is thus opportune for all stakeholders to work collaboratively to ensure that no one is left behind during this transition.

The Just Energy Transition will be success when societies are integrated into the energy and power ecosystem, ensuring equitable participation by all.

This is the reason we have created information sharing platforms for the sector in the form of webinars. We invite leaders in the energy and power sector to share information on developments, opportunities and strategies so that women entrepreneurs interested to participate in the sector can identify suitable opportunities to pursue.

Our series of webinars aim to disclose new entrepreneurial worlds to women entrepreneurs.

Are you:

Woman Entrepreneur who wants to diversify their business interest in the energy and power sector No participation yet

Woman Entrepreneur who is fairly new in the energy and power sector and wants to expand or diversify focus areas in the sector (1- 3 years)

Woman Entrepreneur who has been in the sector for more than 5 years and want to entrench their position in the sector

These webinars are for you!

Part 5 - 9 December 2021

The COP26 summit brought parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

South Africa clinched the first climate finance deal: an $8.5bn commitment by the US, UK, France, Germany and the EU to provide what is described as “highly concessional” finance for SA’s just transition from coal.

South Africa’s energy sector plays a critical role in supporting the economic performance of industries. It will contribute towards the country’s economic recovery post COVID-19

It is the bedrock of economic prosperity. It is the foundation of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

In Africa, we will not realise the ambitions of the African Union Agenda 2063 or the audacious trade ambitions of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement without sustainable supply of clean affordable energy for households and industry.

The continent requires an energy mix tailored to its specific industrialisation ambitions.

Join us at our next webinar as we explore the outcomes of COP 26, and reflect on South Africa’s energy sector and its challenges.

Most importantly assessing how these challenges present opportunities for energy entrepreneurs.

Aweap Webinar series 5

Part 4 - 14 October 2021

It has been widely reported that most of Africa falls short of the rest of the world in key infrastructure development in most categories including energy, road and rail transportation, and water infrastructure (Lakmeeharan et al., 2020). As a result most communities lack any connection to the grid.

In Energy Infrastructure development, South Africa has advanced generation, electrical infrastructure and renewable energy compared to the rest of the continent. It generates 50% of all the energy generated in sub-Saharan Africa’s 49 countries. It provides electricity to 85% households in the country with 15% of the country, mainly in rural areas without electricity (Pichulik, 2018).

South Africa is also challenged with aging electricity infrastructure. The nation’s electricity infrastructure requires refurbishment and rehabilitation in order to meet the growing electricity demands and to integrate new renewable energy (Hoogeveen, 2019).

“In order to respond to increasing energy demand in an efficient manner, the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) drafted the Smart Grid Vision 2030 as part of the South African Smart Grid Initiative (SASGI) in 2013” (Hoogeveen, 2019, p. 1). The Smart Grid Vision 2030 was updated in 2017. This laid the foundation for considerations on how energy infrastructure can be reviewed in order to meet multiple industry demands. It also set the stage to consider how the energy system can be modernised to meet its ambitions to be a Smart Grid by 2030. These developments present possible entrepreneurial opportunities in South Africa’s energy ecosystem.

These developments open up a world of entrepreneurial possibilities in the energy and power sector, in South Africa and beyond.

Follow our webinar series to learn more.

Part 3 - 20 July 2021

Networking is difficult. It does not come easy to everyone. Some people are social butterflies and can network with ease. Today’s remote world has added whole new set of challenges for entrepreneurs.

COVID-19 has decimated the traditional face-to-face, large-scale networking events, as many organisations transitioned to virtual/digital eventing platforms. This has exacerbated the networking challenge especially marginalised demographics such as women and youth.

African Women in Energy and Power is committed to creating platforms where women can gain access to credible market information and build credible market networks. The energy and power sector is a difficult sector to penetrate; however, it is necessary to work together within the ecosystem to ensure that no one is left behind.

On the 20 July we will bring together 15 industry organisations in the energy and power sector that will showcase their value proposition for the sector and for women entrepreneurs. The industry associations cover 3 regions on the continent namely Southern Africa, East Africa and West Africa.

They will each take 10 minutes to showcase their organisations including initiatives that will benefit women entrepreneurs.

Networking is a necessary entrepreneurial activity that many entrepreneurs depend on to start and grow their business. Through networks entrepreneurs can gain access to opportunities (Market), links to business finance opportunities (access to finance) links to new technology that is in demand and credible market information. All these are pivotal ingredients for success.

Part 2 - 22 June 2021

Participating in the energy and power sector as a start-up energy company requires that you gain knowledge into how the sector procures products, services, solutions and systems.

Join us on the 22 June at 12h00 for a conversation on the following topics:

Electricity Utility opportunities and procurement: The electricity sector is going through a transition. Every transition brings with it entrepreneurial opportunities. In this conversation we explore opportunities and how to follow procurement processes and policies to increase your success chances.

Power and Energy: Original Equipment Manufacturers: South Africa’s transition into clean energy technologies such as wind, solar, waste and other combinations of clean energy means that there is an increasing demand of products, solutions and systems from multi-national companies. In this conversation we explore how start up power and energy companies can work collaboratively with OEMs to capture emerging opportunities.

Developing a renewable energy project: The Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) is the key electricity policy planning instrument of government. Recently there has been the Risk-Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) and the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP) Bid Window 5. The REIPPP Bid Window 5 seeks to procure 1 GW of PV and 1.6 GW of wind power. Many entrepreneurs are wondering how they can participate in these opportunities. In this conversation we explore where you can access consulting support as you develop your energy project.

Access to finance is a challenge for any entrepreneur especially for a high capital intensive sector like energy. In this conversation we look at finance for energy projects.

Join us as we find answers to the most energy entrepreneur challenges.

Part 1 - 20 May 2021

African Women in Energy and Power is hosting a free information sharing webinar with speakers from the private and public sector.

The webinar will cover the topic: Advancing and supporting the participation of women entrepreneurs in the Energy and Power Sector

 It is taking place on the 20 May 202 from 12h00 to 14h30

 An energy revolution is happening in South Africa where new and cheaper renewable energy technologies are driving change in the sector. We are seeing the emergence of non-traditional electricity value chains, which presents new entrepreneurial opportunities for women, youth and people living with disabilities.

There will be a panel discussion on: The participation of women in the energy and power sector, what is missing and how can we close the gap? How do we address access to:  Finance, Market,  and Technology?

Join this conversation, explore how you can be part of a solution for South Africa and your sector.

We all have the opportunity to build an inclusive energy and power sector.

Join us by registering for webinar for free!