November 2 (SeeNews) - French oil and gas group Total SA (EPA:FP) and crowdfunding specialist Babyloan announced that they are teaming up to develop the first crowdfunding platform dedicated to access to energy.
The news, which came last week during the opening of the Fourth International Off-Grid Lighting Conference and Exhibition in Dubai, was much awaited by those seeking partners that can help overcome one of the main hurdles to access to energy in Asia and Africa: project funding.
Babyloan and Total will debut the access to energy crowdfunding platform in early 2016. The platform hopes to be financing 2,000 microbusinesses in a dozen countries within two years.
The money raised by the platform will be redistributed directly to local microfinance institutions that provide microcredit to entrepreneurs looking to develop distribution networks and reach isolated communities.
“Crowdfunding offers huge potential for developing access to energy projects,” says Arnaud Poissonier, chief executive officer of Babyloan.
“There aren‘t very many projects yet, but those that exist attract strong public support, because they have a significant social, economic and environmental impact. By teaming up with Total to give them great visibility through a dedicated platform, we will help to draw microfinance institutions to this sector. This new focus is also aligned with our determination to take part in the growth of green microfinance,” he added in a statement.