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Solar Photovoltaic Businesses in Developing Countries

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Lessons learned and key factors for successful business ventures that also improve the lives of the poor in developing countries. Funded by the International Finance Corporation.

This research was commissioned by the International Finance Corporation/Global Environment Facility Small and Medium Enterprise Program to explore the business models of three existing developing country enterprises involved in the marketing, sales, rental, and maintenance of Solar Home Systems (SHSs).

Specifically, these three organizations were studied to reach a better understanding of the key success factors and business approaches which optimize the financial, economic, social and environmental performance of solar energy companies in developing economies.

Although a relatively small sample, the in-depth nature of the case research, including in-country interviews, allowed the development of a decision-making model to assist potential investors in SHS enterprises. The research also identified important lessons relevant for managers of other SHS firms.