Visionaria at USAID/Winrock “Developing a Sustainable Cookstove Sector” Close-out Event

Visionaria Network co-founders, Paul Spurzem and Genevieve Smith, each presented during the USAID Developing a Sustainable Cookstove Sector (DSCS) project close-out event on Tuesday September 12, in Washington, DC, to highlight lessons learned and their contributions to fuel-efficient cookstove distribution and financing.

At the 1-day event, Winrock International, the chief implementer of the DSCS project, summarized the context and need to support energy entrepreneurs through the Empowered Entrepreneur Training Program:

“Women play a critical role in the cookstove value chain because of their central responsibility for managing household energy. As primary users of household energy products, such as cleaner cookstoves, women can catalyze the market as micro-entrepreneurs and small-sized enterprise owners through the distribution and delivery of clean energy technologies and after-sales services. However, they need proper support for their role as cookstove entrepreneurs”

A major initiative of the DSCS project was the Empowered Entrepreneur Training Program (EETP), which was implemented with support by Paul and Genevieve (Visionaria), with Dr. Anita Shankar (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health), to enhance the capacity of energy entrepreneurs through (more details about the program from Winrock here).

In the afternoon, Genevieve presented about the EETP trainer certification and entrepreneur training program, while Paul highlighted results from a recent ROI study (forthcoming) and support tools for trainers throughout the certification process.

Several success stories were shared during the 1-day event, including comments and live testimonials from two certified trainers from Kenya and Nepal who were in attendance.

Visionaria Network is honored to collaborate with so many diverse and talented trainers at organizations in 8 different countries, who are realizing the value of agency-based empowerment and leadership training to realize personal professional growth.

Several participating trainers in the EETP also work with youth programs and schools in their respective regions. They have been excited to learn of Visionaria Network’s experience and expertise in adapting the same empowerment and leadership concepts to develop the skills for secondary school students and similar training programs for teachers through the Visionaria for Schools program.

While this USAID/Winrock collaboration is coming to an end, there is great excitement and evidence for the potential of Empowered Entrepreneur Trainings around the world. We anticipate future collaborations and investments to spread this innovative training methodology in the energy and educational sectors around the world.

Visionaria Network is proud to have contributed to such a well-received program and optimistic for the future of the training methodologies as we work to support more communities and the leaders within them.

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