<i>By Alessandra Moscadelli, GVEP International

Source: http://goo.gl/OfOKp</i>

The study, which concentrates on the technologies of improved cook stoves (ICS), briquettes, solar phone charging, solar stocking and solar lanterns, is based on first-hand data from Developing Energy Enterprise Programme (DEEP) energy entrepreneurs in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It is aimed to provide further understanding into how micro and small energy businesses currently undertake their marketing through reviewing the main marketing challenges energy entrepreneurs face and evaluates the effectiveness of marketing strategies micro and small enterprises (MSEs) are engaging in.

The study revealed that a third (36%) of the interviewed entrepreneurs considered marketing as one of their biggest business challenge as well as 25% of them identifying competition as their main marketing challenge. Further challenges acknowledged included identifying new markets, taking time away from the business to engage in marketing activities, finances for advertising material and knowledge on advertising techniques with some marketing challenges specific to certain technologies.

As Daniel Macharia, GVEP Programme Manager explains, “A lack of marketing expertise has always been one of the main reasons why small or micro energy enterprises fail. These businesses struggle with minimal or no marketing budgets, a lack of marketing understanding and skills, as well as the notion that energy products cannot be commercialised. For these entrepreneurs to succeed and grow they must adopt appropriate innovative marketing strategies and techniques. That is why this study was put in place and the results gained outline realistic strategies that such enterprises should undertake. These strategies will help the business achieve their objectives and also ensure that the entrepreneurs benefit by overcoming the barriers to market penetration and expansion.”