2x Global

This project seeks to reduce barriers and improve pathways to growth for women-led enterprises in clean energy, with a particular focus on gender-smart capital mobilisation towards locally relevant clean energy solutions. It will do so by launching a catalyst collaborative research fund for partnerships between local researchers and implementers, and by supporting research on the impact of localised and Southern-led investment in clean energy. The project will foster capacities in impact measurement and management. It includes knowledge sharing and outreach and engagement to leverage the research findings to mobilise capital towards impactful clean energy solutions in local contexts.

A clean energy transition that improves the lives of marginalised groups and communities has emerged as a key driver for achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate goals. Ensuring everyone has access to sufficient clean energy is an opportunity to reduce gender-based inequalities and strengthen climate action and resilience.

Small and growing businesses can play an important role in addressing energy needs and in fostering an inclusive and sustainable transition to clean energy. However, women and young people are underrepresented within clean energy entrepreneurship, despite evidence that gender-balanced funding teams are more successful, and despite women’s central role in the transition toward clean energy as customers, employees, entrepreneurs and community members.

Lack of access to capital (a recurring issue for young women entrepreneurs in particular), challenges in networking and forming partnerships, cultural and social norms, the care economy (women’s role as caregivers in the family and community), and reduced mentorship and training opportunities are among the key barriers. While these barriers are common across different sectors, their impact on women entrepreneurs is particularly pronounced in the renewable sector due to the sector’s heavy reliance on technology and its male-dominated nature.