By Ritah Kemigisa
A Ugandan is among three entrepreneurs who beat over 1,000 applicants to win the prestigious Seed Award.
Phillip Kyeswa, the head of Peec Energy and two other winners from South Africa and Ghana will each be awarded matching grants of between EUR 10,000 – 15,000.
The Seed Award is a business that gives out virtual cash in exchange for rubbish, a start-up that converts faecal sludge into fuel briquettes, and an enterprise that offers smart metering solutions for solar mini-grids, have won the SEED Low Carbon.
Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentarian State Secretary in the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), which is the primary sponsor of the SEED Low Carbon Awards, says micro and small enterprises play a vital role in the transformation to a decarbonised, more sustainable development.
In Uganda, the winning enterprise Peec Energy offers remote monitoring and smart metering solutions for solar mini-grids and solar home systems in local communities, currently benefitting 3,800 households.
Peec Energy, founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Kyeswa, provides PAYG meters to local min-grid developers, allowing them to sell energy in off-grid locations and to remotely monitor their utility assets and collect bill payments via central software.
The enterprise also provides women and youth with solar and biogas training and certification from the Directorate of Industrial training in Uganda and aims to expand throughout Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo to reach 500,000 connected households, impacting more than 1 million people.
SEED was founded as part of a global partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Regenize, a South African enterprise founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Chad Robertson, rewards residents with Remali, a virtual currency that can be used to buy airtime, data or grocery vouchers, in exchange for recycled materials.
While the winning start-up in Ghana, JVL-YKMA Recycling Plant, was founded in 2020 and processes organic waste and faecal sludge to produce compost for commercial farming and affordable, fuel-efficient briquettes for households and industries.