Despite recent strides made in improved cookstove and fuel affordability and quality, consumers, distributors and manufacturers recognize a need for affordable financing options at scale. Often, typical financing options available in these markets, such as microfinance loans, are not attractive to microfinance institutions due to the low price point and high transaction costs. Thus, clean cooking technologies are too expensive for many consumers to pay up front and not expensive enough to be cost-effective for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and traditional banks.
In addition, making cleaner cookstoves and fuels more widely available to end-users, especially to those households located in rural or remote places, remains a challenge. Reaching these households remains difficult for many reasons, such as: the fragility of some cookstoves during transport over poor roads, the high cost of transportation, the limited availability of distributors, and lack of end-user awareness and willingness to pay.
The Alliance supports research informed activities to develop and enhance innovative and scalable distribution and consumer finance models and partnerships. These activities include enterprise training and capacity building, brokering of partnerships, new product and guarantee development, pilot support, and sharing of best practices in integrating women in the value chain and tailoring products to meet consumer needs and preferences.