UpOwa - Issue 4: Cameroon 6.75% Bond
Every £104 invested will enable upOwa to install a 10Wp Solar Home System to households previously living off-grid.
Your investment will help upOwa to provide clean energy to 720 families in Cameroon.
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 become the leading ‘pay-as-you-go’ solar company in Cameroon and is on the way to become a leader of the solar sector in Francophone African countries. They have successfully installed up to 2,500 solar home systems across Cameroon with the aim to reach a further 50,000 beneficiaries over the next year, and 1 million in 5 years.
This project benefits from match funding from UK aid. UK aid has provided an up-front match of £18,750, meaning that for every £3 invested into this project by the crowd an additional £1 will be invested through match funding.
Key product information
Issuer: upOwa SAS
Issuing Country: France
Investment target: £75,000
Minimum investment: £50
Maximum investment: No maximum
Maturity: 48 months
Expected interest rate: 6.75% per annum
Withholding tax rate: 0% (applicable to UK residents who do not invest within an IF ISA)
Interest payment frequency: 6 monthly
Notional repayment: 6 monthly
Financial instrument: Unsecured interest bearing bond
This is a bond issued by a single company (rather than a savings product) and therefore it is recommended that you are careful with the amount you invest.
You must read the investment memorandum (provided below) where a full statement of risks is presented.
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 £104 invested will allow upOwa to install a 10Wp Solar Home System ('SHS') to a household that was previously off-grid. With the funds from this raise, upOwa intend to supply 720 10Wp systems meaning that they will be able to bring electricity to 720 families previously off-grid in Cameroon.
UpOwa’s entry-level offer is a solar home system composed of a solar panel, a control unit that includes a long-lasting lithium battery, a universal cell phone charger and 3 ceiling lamps. All products distributed by upOwa come from suppliers who are Lighting Global Certified. They also offer a mid-level system that allows for additional appliances such as an additional ceiling light, a radio and a torch to be added.
UpOwa’s research shows that families living off-the-grid in rural Cameroon use an average of 4 cell phones per household. Those are out of battery most of the time, which forces users to travel a few hours to the next town at least once a week in order to recharge batteries. Thanks to the SHS's universal plug, phone charging can take place at home anytime, which allows users to save both a lot of time and money.
As most clients can’t afford to pay upfront for the full value of their SHS, upOwa allows for a repayment scheme over 18 months at the end of which individuals own their system outright.
UpOwa are looking to raise £75,000 from this bond issue and will use those funds to deploy a total of 720 SHS across Western and Central Cameroon from their regional hubs in Bafoussam and Yaoundé. In rural areas of Cameroon only 22% of individuals have access to electricity.
Not only will your investment into this offer allow upOwa to provide electricity to off-grid families, but you'll also be helping the company to grow and provide further employment opportunities. In 5 years, upOwa aims to rapidly expand and has set itself 3 bold global objectives; to provide electricity to 1 million beneficiaries, to create 1,000 direct jobs and to save 2,000 ton of CO2.
Social and environmental impact
Solar home systems & lanterns have been shown to have a significant impact on customers' lives and the environment. UpOwa has sold over 2,500 SHS in Cameroon since their incorporation, impacting the lives of roughly 12,500 people.
Social Impact statistics taken from GOGLA's July 2018 study 'Powering Opportunity: The Economic Impact of Off-Grid Solar'
of solar light users who previously used kerosene lamps experienced an improvement in their health
of customers purchasing a solar lantern or home system reported feeling safer since buying or using their product
of households with children report that they now have more time with which to do their homework
Using industry-recognised Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) impact metrics, upOwa has calculated the environmental impact of installing 720 Solar Home Systems as follows:
Number of people who will enjoy clean energy access
Average new household saving on energy-related expenditure over solar product lifetime
Total greenhouse gas emissions offset per household over the lifetime of the product