Encouraging female entrepreneurship in the sustainable energy sector in Myanmar


Action in progress

Myanmar, Dry Zone

2018 - 2020

Background and Challenges

The Dry Zone in the center of Myanmar is home to 30 % of the country’s population. 80 % of Burmese households cook with wood on traditional fireplaces, thus putting great pressure on the forest resources contributing to the 2% annual deforestation rate. The region has a low coverage of the national power grid. Rural populations’ lack of access to modern quality energy and to Sustainable Energy Solutions (SES) increases their vulnerability and severely constrains their socio-economic development. The use of biomass as the main source of energy is responsible for the strenuous work carried out by women as well as for respiratory diseases linked to exposure to harmful fumes.

Present in Myanmar since 2014 as part of a project to design and produce improved cookstoves, GERES intends to continue its intervention by focusing on SES’s distribution networks. Following participatory work with communities in the Dry Zone and women’s networks, GERES is working to expand the range of products accessible to families, namely lamps and solar home systems, in order to increase the number of people with improved energy access and to disseminate even more sustainable solutions.

Objectives and Solutions

  • Contribute to structuring an environment conducive to the dissemination of Sustainable Energy Solutions by supporting the emergence of so-called “last mile” distributors and retailers, missing links to reach the most isolated villages.
  • Participate in the emergence and strengthening of women’s entrepreneurship in the energy sector through the development of an innovative and inclusive distribution network that is predominantly female.
  • Encourage sustainable development at the local level and promote clean energy.
  • Facilitate access to financing in order to enable low-income households to acquire sustainable lighting and cooking solutions.
  • Capitalize and disseminate the lessons learned from the project to policy-makers and development institutions.
  • Develop the skills of field actors, including female producers and providers of SES and women’s community organizations.
Funder partners
  • AFD - French Development Agency
  • European Union
Technical partners
  • 10 female SES producers and suppliers
  • 10,000 households in isolated villages by 2021
  • local authorities in the areas of intervention
  • 40,000 indirect beneficiaries, including 10,000 children with a reduced exposure to toxic fumes

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