From 2014, RDIS has been so much involved in the reduction of CO2 emissions, being an investment project it has shaped our mind to think outside the grant funds box which for many years past has driven the mindset of RDIS personnel.
The implementation of CCER phase one (CCER1) with our key partners (UEM, Bread for the World, UCB, and Kilma Kolletke) is making a good impact on people’s lives. There is a high probability of achieving what we are expected to accomplish in terms of carbon credits. The upcoming verification by a UN auditor should serve as proof of our capabilities.
Having acquired a set of experiences and skills from this carbon project, the Uganda Carbon Bureau (UCB) as RDIS’ carbon partner has thought to help RDIS to tap on the doors of financing institutions. In this regard, under the guidance of UCB as our coach, RDIS submitted a Business Plan, Budget and Financial Model to PFAN “Private Financing Advisory Network” for the expansion of our improved cook stoves enterprise - CCER 2.
The business plan as submitted by RDIS was shortlisted to the final 10 projects from the many applicants from around the region. Following this selection process by PFAN, RDIS along with 9 other companies was invited to participate in an Investment Forum held in Nairobi at the “Villa Rosa Kempiski Hotel”. Project developers had to present their business proposal as a PowerPoint presentation, and be asked questions by PFAN’s independent judges. After communicating the results, certificates were issued by PFAN’s Global Director.
As per the certificate, as well as the closing address by the Global Director, RDIS was described as an exceptionally promising clean energy investment opportunity which, PFAN will support further to help us to secure funds for the implementation of CCER phase 2 programme. This report summarizes the process that all presenters went through.
1. SPICCEF- 2 - Investment Forum –Sida-PFAN Initiative for Climate & Clean Energy Financing
According to the usual investment forum schedule format, project developers were invited to present on Day 1 their business plans to PFAN personnel and coaches for their views and comments as preparatory phase. This was held at the BOMA Inn, Red Cross Road. RDIS received critical and constructive comments that were taken into account for the final presentation.
On Day 2 project developers worked with their coaches to improve their presentations. With our coach, Mr. Bill Farmer, our slides were revised, key inputs provided: the amount of credits that RDIS is planning to offer by 2017; the CCER1 upfront financing plan as per the ERPA by RDIS and Bread for the World; the management team’s profiles were reviewed; a conservative price of USD14 per carbon credit was included in the new Excel spreadsheet: a 5% stove drop off rate as per the CCER2 Financial Model; and the operating costs projected from our CCER1 experience were described. The final inputs were incorporated on 30 May, the day prior to the competition forum. The same day there was an opportunity for RDIS to practice presenting its slides to ensure that the set time of 15 minutes for the presentation could be met and, also to check the pertinence of the slides’ content.
On Day 3 (31 May) each project made its presentation in front of the independent PFAN judges.
2. Participating in the Forum Competition
Held at “Villa Rosa Kempiski Hotel” the first group of project developers presented their proposals, and RDIS was the fifth presenter. The presentation was difficult, but, because of practice and our knowledge and experience about our carbon project RDIS convinced the audience and the judges of our capability of managing the scaled up CCER2 investment project. However, questions were hard hitting, but nonetheless, answers were provided to the judges whose responsibilities were to rate the presenters according to the following topics:
- Value proposition and business model
- Market understanding and analysis
- Management team
- Operation and Implementation Plan
- Financial Projections
- Risk Mitigation
- Environmental Impact & Development Benefits
- Professionalism and Presentation of the Proposal
RDIS was among the competitors who proved their ability of implementing their investment projects with a high probability of success. Therefore, it is time now for us to double check all the documents we have developed for our CCER2 enterprise and get prepared to source funding. PFAN will help us to identify ways for all the project developers to attract funding given their profitability and their positive impact in addressing climate issues.
It has been an important learning process for RDIS staff who have worked tirelessly and professionally to meet the standards as required by the Investment Forum SIDA-PFAN Initiative for Climate & Clean Energy Financing. Coming from an NGO perspective, it was a surprising engagement given that all the other competitors in the competition were strong companies experienced in different fields aiming at achieving financial success. This is a call for a new status and or a change of mind for RDIS to access financing opportunities from around the world, which are known and exploited by companies that mean to generate sustainable incomes from their investments.
The accomplishment of our task at the investment forum, was a result of collaboration and a team work spirit which prevails in RDIS, and also between RDIS and UCB as our carbon partner. Thus, the following have been accomplished: Project concept idea, budget, pull up banner, Executive Summary and slide preparation and new ways of submitting information via the “Climate Invest on-line link”, go to meeting technology and DocuSign. The contributions of RDIS and UCB staff who are gifted with different skills, knowledge and experience have been of paramount important. Therefore, please receive my sincere thanks.
Though we have made a significant step ahead, given the target of CCER2 - “supplying stoves to 12,000 households each year over 9 years, to achieve a total of 108,000 households by 2027, and generating 593,000 carbon credits over 9 years” - we are called to make an even stronger commitment, smart work and professionalism than has ever been before. Please get prepared for the work that we are expected to do to add to our current portfolio of activities in the near future.
Done at Shyogwe, June 2nd, 2018
Mr. NTARINDWA Viateur
RDIS- Executive Secretary