Miller Center, Smart Power Myanmar & Chevron launch mini-grid accelerator program

June 23, 2020
Photo: Pact

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 17, 2020 – Leaders from 13 Myanmar energy access enterprises are set to gain access to experienced business executives from Silicon Valley and South East Asia as part of an innovative new mentorship program aimed at bringing reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy to Myanmar.

Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, in partnership with Smart Power Myanmar and supported by Chevron, today announced the launch of the Mini-Grid Accelerator Program for Myanmar.

The Mini-Grid Accelerator Program is designed to support early and growth stage mini-grid developers who are seeking to expand energy access in rural and off-grid communities throughout the country.

The program connects mini-grid developers with experienced Silicon Valley business executives and regional business leaders who will provide extensive mentorship and accompany the developers throughout the program.

“We know from our work around the world that energy access is a key contributor to lifting people out of poverty,” said Pamela Roussos, Chief Community Officer, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. “We’re grateful for Chevron’s support in helping to bridge that gap in Myanmar.”

Chevron is supporting the Mini-Grid Accelerator Program through a $250k grant. The one-year pilot program provides practical tools, proven curriculum, online workshops and “best practices” based on Miller Center’s experience in accelerating more than 1,000 social enterprises worldwide, and its pioneering Microgrid Playbook, designed to support micro and mini-grid developers launch and grow faster and more successfully.  The program compliments a broader energy access strategy being implemented in Myanmar by Smart Power Myanmar.

 “Chevron has a long history of supporting Myanmar communities, including initiatives that improve a range of community outcomes through electrification in rural areas,” said Jonathan Perry, Country Manager, Chevron Myanmar.  “The Mini-Grid Accelerator Program will build on this and contribute towards the Union of Myanmar’s goal of providing all citizens with electricity by 2030.”

“Electrification is a driving factor in reducing poverty and promoting economic development,” said, Richard Harrison, CEO of Smart Power Myanmar. “Smart Power Myanmar seeks to provide energy access solutions to a large proportion of the 26 million Myanmar citizens that do not have reliable access to electricity. Our partnership with Miller Center, with Chevron’s support, enables us to help build Myanmar’s investible energy companies of the future, and thereby accelerate the spread of decentralized renewable energy solutions, thus transforming the long-term economic potential of millions of people.”

Thirteen mini-grid developers with current or planned operations in Myanmar, who are seeking to expand energy access in rural and off-grid communities throughout Myanmar, have been selected to participate in the program.  They range from green energy solution providers and solar power companies to engineering firms and organizations focused on renewable energy. The list of Mini-Grid Accelerator Program participants can be found here.

Learn more about the program here


About Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship is the largest and most successful university-based social enterprise accelerator in the world.  Since 2003 we have accelerated more than 1,000 social entrepreneurs, who have raised over $540 million post program, and positively impacted the lives of over 400 million people.  We deliver world-class programs that connect global social enterprise leaders with Silicon Valley business executives to develop more sustainable, scalable market-based solutions to the problems of those living in poverty around the world.

About Chevron in Myanmar

For more than 25 years, Chevron, through its subsidiary Unocal Myanmar Offshore Co. Ltd., has worked with partners in Myanmar to spur economic growth and development. Chevron’s nonoperated investment in Myanmar’s Yadana natural gas project is helping to support energy security in Southeast Asia. Our social investments in Myanmar focus on supporting community development through improving access to health care; initiating funds for communities to invest in renewable energy; strengthening local governance; promoting sustainable livelihoods; and enabling education and training opportunities. 

About Smart Power Myanmar

Smart Power Myanmar was established in 2018 to accelerate the spread of decentralized renewable energy solutions in Myanmar and transform the long-term economic potential of millions of people currently without access to electricity.  Supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and managed by Pact, SPM connects economically viable and reliable energy solutions, such as renewable energy mini-grids to demand from rural families, entrepreneurs, farms and enterprises to boost incomes, grow businesses, and foster economic growth.

Media Contacts

Rhonda Brauer for Miller Center, @email, (310) 508-0426

Cam Van Ast, Chevron, @email +61 9216 4462

Angus Dutton, Smart Power Myanmar, @email +95 9765 509 572