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Powering Refugees and Displaced People
Area of Work:
Region: Africa
Awards Year: The 2024
Supported by:

Patapia helps refugee women in Uganda launch and grow businesses powered by clean energy. With support to open snack kiosks, hair salons and other enterprises, displaced women have more chances to build a better future.

Clean energy can spark new or higher earnings for refugee entrepreneurs. But buying equipment such as solar panels, lights, fridges and electric tools is often difficult. Many banks are reluctant to lend to refugees, and don’t understand the economic potential of clean energy.

Patapia is a refugee-led organisation that tackles poverty and gender inequality with its affordable loans for clean power products. Patapia technicians check what energy supply and equipment customers will need, and also give training in using and maintaining it. Women can manage the loans on their phones, and there’s no need for a bank account, collateral or credit history. The organisation also helps women form ‘business families’, entrepreneur groups with five to ten members who provide guarantees and support for each other.

Why is Ashden boosting this solution?

There are 108 million refugees worldwide, and climate change threatens to displace millions more people in the years ahead. Bringing clean energy to these communities is an urgent and growing challenge. With the right support, refugees themselves can lead the way.

The story is phenomenal – and the ability to impact people’s lives quickly is fantastic. – Abid Kazim, co-founder NextEnergy Foundation and Ashden Awards judge

For more information on Patapia, click here.

Check out the rest of our fantastic winners from the 2024 Ashden Awards here.

Collection of photos of 2024 Ashden Award winner Patapia. At the top is a group partcipants after a training. Below on the left-hand side is a mother and her baby outside her home. On the right is an electrician smiling at the camera. Below is a women in her place of work. Below that on the left hand-side is a man outside his shop. On the right-hand side is a women smiling.
At the top is a group of participants after training. Below on the left-hand side is Claudine Nkundizanye, a mother and a business owner, shares a light moment with her baby in front of her home in Kyempango village, Rwamwanja refugee settlement – Uganda. On the right is Musobozi Pius, an electrician working with Patapia in Kyempango village, Kamwenge district, Uganda. Below is Kabundesia Mushimiye, a beneficiary from the Patapia loaning system, at her business location. Below that on the left-hand-side Muhoza Jiste, a shopkeeper and father of three at his shop. On the right-hand side are beneficiaries receiving and distributing money received from the Patapia loaning system as seed capital for their businesses.

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