UpOwa - Issue 11: Cameroon - 7.75% Bond
Every £43 invested will enable upOwa to install one of their “FLASH” solar kits to a household living off-grid.
11,000 people will benefit
With an average household size of 5, 11,000 people with benefit from access to electricity through this campaign.
Founded in 2014, upOwa has a bold ambition:
“To make solar energy available to millions of households now living in the dark in Cameroon and across Central Africa.”
Since their incorporation, upOwa has becoming the leading ‘pay-as-you-go’ solar company in Cameroon and is on the way to become a leader of the solar sector in many Francophone African countries. upOwa have successfully installed over 30,000 solar home systems across Cameroon, with the aim to reach 1 million beneficiaries by the end of 2024.
Key product information
Issuer: upOwa SAS
Issuing Country: France
Investment target: £95,000
Minimum investment: £50
Maximum investment: No maximum
Maturity: 24 months
Expected interest rate: 7.75% per annum
Withholding tax rate: 0% (applicable to UK residents who do not invest within an IF ISA)
Interest payment frequency: 6 monthly
Capital repayment: 6 monthly
Financial instrument: Unsecured interest bearing bond
This is a bond issued by a single company (rather than a saving product) and therefore it is recommended that you are careful with the amount you invest.
You must read the offer document (provided below) where a statement of risks is presented, particularly in section 5 – Risk Analysis Overview
See what upOwa do
upOwa are one of the pioneering solar companies supported by the Energise Africa initiative, a joint venture between Lendahand and Ethex.
What the project investment will enable
Every £43 invested in this project will enable upOwa to install one of their entry-level “FLASH” solar home kits in households living off-grid. In total, the project will enable the company to purchase 2,200 FLASH kits, providing 11,000 people with access to electricity.
upOwa’s entry level system comprises a solar panel, battery, three LED lamps and a phone charger, and is provided on an 18-month PAYG plan, with a 10% upfront deposit. The FLASH Kit is Lighting Global certified, and customers benefit from a two-year warranty.
At the time of installation, upOwa field agents offer training to customers on how to make the most of their solar home system to maximise its lifetime. In upOwa’s call centre, operators pro-actively assist and train clients to both understand the pay-as-you-go mechanism and anticipate maturity dates, which assists in maintaining a low default rate.
If at any point a payment deadline is passed, the solar home system can be locked and the appliances will shut down until the overdue payment is received. Once the total amount has been paid, upOwa’s clients become owner of their solar home system and can opt to upgrade for a more powerful system in order to further improve their quality of life, all while continuing to benefit from affordable monthly payment plans.
Another benefit of upOwa’s products is the mobile phone charging connection that comes with all products – being able to charge phones at home saves rural households time and money in travelling to town to charge their phones, which are a vital tool for communication and gaining information.
The company aim to raise £95,000 from this bond issue and will use the funds to deploy 2,200 solar home systems across Cameroon, from regional hubs including Bafoussam and Yaoundé. In rural areas of Cameroon, as little as 32% of the population have access to electricity.
Not only will your investment enable upOwa to provide electricity to off-grid communities – you’ll also be helping the company to grow and provide further local employment opportunities. By the end of 2024, upOwa aims to create 1,000 direct jobs, provide electricity to 1 million beneficiaries and to prevent 200,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere .
Social and environmental impact
Solar home systems and solar lanterns have been shown to have a significant impact on both customer’s lives, and the environment. upOwa has installed over 30,000 systems in Cameroon since their incorporation, impacting the lives of roughly 150,000 people.
Social impact statistics taken from the 2019 report “Powering Opportunity in West Africa” by the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA)
of customers report that they feel safer thanks to off-grid solar
of customers say children have more time to do their homework
additional income is created in the average household, thanks to solar electricity access
Using industry recognised GOGLA research and impact metrics, the environmental impact of installing 2,200 solar home systems will be:
Number of people enjoying access to electricity
Proportion of households reporting improved health thanks to clean energy access
Total CO2 emissions avoided per household over the lifetime of the product