Investment is an indispensible element in the realization of any venture, ranging from large commercial enterprises to undertakings in the informal sector, such as the building of a rural house or hut; all such activities require the use of human resources, land, tools and raw materials. Smaller projects may require only the use of locally available resources made accessible to the project owner by legal rights or barter. Beyond the small local investments, capital becomes part of the project realization; this capital can come from national or foreign grants, loans or equity, or more typically a combination of these.
This book chapter focuses especially on investment and financing for sugar cane-based bioenergy, which in some respects is a sub-sector of biomass-based energy, but is also related to agricultural investment. Althought sugar cane has a long history in some parts of Africa, investments on the energy side of sugar cane remain quite limited, but have received greater attention in recent years due to concerns over climate change, energy security and rural development.