Buksh Foundation; Clean Energy Entrepreneurs

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Buksh Foundation; Clean Energy Entrepreneurs: Power to Empower; Creating Sustainable Energy Access for All

Lahore, PakistanLahore, Pakistan
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Clean Energy Lending is a turnkey solution to tackling multiple SDGs. A cleaner, more reliable and affordable energy access through the lease of hybrid solar kits to micro-enterprises in peri-urban areas on easy 12 month installments leads to multi-fold social impact for the entire community.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if cleaner, more reliable, and affordable access to energy could lead to a flourishing economy, women empowerment, and poverty alleviation for all?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

-Goal 1 SDG: Poverty alleviation through access to finance and provision of clean energy -Goal 5 SDG: Gender equality with focus on economically disadvantaged women -Goal 7 SDG: Access to clean, reliable, affordable energy -Goal 8 SDG: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive economic and decent work for all -Goal 10: Combat climate change through provision of clean energy

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Following the success of productive loans and realising the need to meet energy needs to increase economic efficiency and combat climate change, Buksh Foundation launched the Clean Energy Lending (CEL) program in 2011. Buksh Foundation is the first microfinance institution of the country with the objective of fulfilling the energy needs of small enterprises and rural households, via solar home kits, community awareness campaigns, and entrepreneur training.


Poverty Alleviation from Asian CSR Forum; Dubai International Award; Environmental Excellence Award; Forbes Top30Under30; NPeace IIX Award for Poverty Alleviation; UN Habitat Award for Best Community Program;
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

•Marketing campaigns to raise awareness of clean energy access through solar kits and educate the communities. •Loan form filled by potential clients for asset financing with a special focus on small women-led businesses •Psychometric and Cashflow analysis: extensive credit assessment of client through character and business analysis to gauge willingness and ability to repay loan •Lease of solar kit with prices ranging from 29,500 to 36,950 PKR. •Solar kit used for businesses during the day and at home during the night creating a conducive environment and increased productivity. A beauty parlour owner's clients' loved the Radio playing included in the kit. •Repayment of asset finance through 12 month installments

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

•Economic efficiency: the kits prolong business hours and combat long power shortages of 10-12 hours, which will raise the overall GNI of Pakistan in the long-term •Gender equity: 60% of clients provided with asset financing and training are women which is projected to become 80% in the future. •Income: with longer working hours, businesses increase income by over 20%. This leads to an increase in savings, allowing enterprises to spend more on health and education of household. •Health and Environment benefits: replace harmful energy sources, such as kerosene oil that are detrimental to health and leading cause of diseases including lung cancer, skin and eye infections, respiratory problems. •Community welfare: advancement of economic opportunities leading to further creation of sustainable economic agents. For 150 entrepreneurs, 750 individuals will be further empowered.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

To date, we have two Microfinance branches in Township and Shahdra, Lahore that offer Clean Energy Loans and have generated a total of 120 clean energy clients. With further international investment, we aim to create 350 entrepreneurs in the first year leading to an expansion of the microfinance network and further creation of 2 new branches per year as of 2017. Each branch will directly impact more than 1,500 entrepreneurs per year. The growth in network is planned strategically to match the portfolio growth and hence achieve most efficient budget allocation to geographic expansion.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

With a $50,000 cash prize, we will invest the money in our Microfinance portfolio through the provision of loans to 175 female entrepreneurs, which will be repaid in 12 installments, including the principal amount with subsidized interest. The principal amount returned will be reinvested to further develop more economically disadvantaged women leading to cumulative impact on approximately 1,000 women in 5 years.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Buksh Foundation is the pioneer in CEL. CEL is innovative and unique as it is a combination of technology, financing and development packed in one turnkey model. There are Microfinance banks, such as Finca and Kashf that provide small affordable financial loans to middle class and low income households and there are renewable energy companies that offer clean energy access to urban areas in Pakistan, such as Nizam. Buksh Foundation offers both and targets the neglected peri-urban and rural market by providing affordable loans for the purchase of solar kits.

Founding Story

Pakistan is in midst of energy crisis with 44% of the whole population living in darkness. As a result, Mr Asim Buksh and Ms Fiza Farhan set to penetrate into a completely untapped industry in the country in 2009. The concept of renewable energy was not a common phenomenon at the time and neither was there a complete eco-system that had been laid out to execute the same. Within the private and the public sector, the sense of an emergency was arising but the solutions were few. Creating this national challenge into a tremendous business opportunity, Ms Fiza Farhan and Mr Asim Buksh launched Buksh Foundation and Buksh Energy Pvt Ltd (BEPL) in March 2009.


Our Founder and Chairman, Mr. Asim Buksh, was featured in Time Magazine for his individual and organisational renewable energy contributions in their “Heroes of the Environment” spread. The CEO, Fiza Farhan, was recognized by Forbes in Top 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs in 2015 for her efforts in the ‘Lighting a Million Lives’ project in Pakistan. Her leadership in the industry is evident through her numerous awards and participation in prestigious events. We have a team of young professionals creating innovative models tackling epidemic problems with simple and scalable solutions. In addition to the above, our head office comprises 80% of female employees and 75% of the field staff are also women. We have a lean passionate operational team at the head office and we create further jobs by employing local people in the villages where we operate to ensure cultural sensitivities. With regard to technical assistance, we are partnered with The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) in India for technological procurement, as well as with our sister organization, Buksh Energy Pvt Ltd for technical implementation of the renewable energy systems.