Category: Energy Entrepreneurs

One of the most effective ways of sharing information and disseminating experiences of energy access and rural development success (and failure) is through case studies. Smart Villages interviewed energy access and development practitioners around the world to collect their stories and insights.

Profile: Suleiman Mzungu, SUJA – East Africa

What is your off-grid energy business? Can you give a brief overview? How long have you been working on this business? My off-grid business deals with production of charcoal briquettes with a brand name “Mukala”. We focus on production of clean cooking energy using agricultural waste materials like coconut husks, sugarcane husks, wood pieces, charcoal …

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Neema, Tacode – Energy Entrepreneur

What are you currently working on? For how long? Can you give a brief overview? Still working on it but up to right now there isn’t much progress – limited scope with UTT . Have recent undergone an exhibition in January at UDEC – worked on their prototype to refine their idea. Still in close …

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Profile: James Ogingo, Chemolex – East Africa

James is an Industrial Chemistry graduate with entrepreneurship passion leaned towards renewable energy adoption among low income communities, energy management and environmental conservation. He is an alumnus of Cambridge Development Initiative, a program sponsored by Smart Villages. He is also recognized as Smart Village Ambassador by IEE Smart Village. James is the Co-founder of Chemolex …

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Profile: Clifford Okoth – Chemolex – East Africa

  Brief biography I am an entrepreneur, marketer and sales trainer in Kenya. Since graduating from the university, I have passionately worked at Chemolex Company where I am a co-founder. I have developed the start up from an idea to the scale up phase where the company serves 400 households, 30 businesses and operates 5 …

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Profile: Sameer Nair – Gram Oorja – East Africa

What is your off-grid energy business? Can you give a brief overview? How long have you been working on this business? Gram Oorja electrifies un-electrified villages in remote areas of India using mini grids. Each home is provided a metered connection that can be used by the household for its electricity needs varying from lighting, …

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Profile: Tecla Mariwa – East Africa

What is your off-grid energy business? Manufacturing of portable bio-gas for generation of cooking energy and organic fertilizers. Can you give a brief overview? Lack of adequate cooking energy has been one of the major problems in the country. Many people utilize charcoal and firewood which is not an environmental friendly source of energy. However, …

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Profile: Seni James – East Africa

[:en]What is your off-grid energy business? Portable biogas Can you give a brief overview? Portable biogas is a system that can be easily installed and used in households and institutions like schools, food vendors etc… system uses organic wastes such as food leftovers to generate a cooking gas, additionally the system has a purification system …

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Profile: Samwel Baruti – East Africa

What is your off-grid energy business? i. Drying fruits using solar oven ii. Solar power in the agricultural sector. Can you give a brief overview? i. In Tanzania there’s no fruit preserving factory, which means fruits gets destroyed easily by either for not being consumed for long time or by climatic conditions such as high …

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Profile: Nelson Maleko – East Africa

What is your off-grid energy business? My off grid energy business is to produce efficient stoves which will use briquettes and charcoal.   Can you give a brief overview? The stove will have an adjustable plate which allows accommodation of different pan size in order to increase efficiency. Other additional features on the stove is …

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Profile: Mlamba John – East Africa

What is your off-grid energy business? My off-grid energy business is an efficient stove producing business known as Jensen Energy incorporated in collaboration with partners named Nelson Maleko and Senteu together with Elifadhili Shaidi. Can you give a brief overview? Our business incorporates at producing efficient cooking stoves that avoid the loss of heat plus …

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Profile: Mediana Ngosso – East Africa

What is your off-grid energy business? My off-grid energy business idea is drying fruits and vegetables by using solar energy technology. Can you give a brief overview? The process will involve drying of fruits and vegetables by using a friendly energy which is solar energy, so as to tackle the problem of food wastage and …

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Profile: Makondose Senteu – East Africa

What is your off-grid energy business? Production of efficient stoves  Can you give a brief overview? These stoves will use normal charcoals or briquettes in low amount since, in the way they constructed will preserve heat loss What inspired you to start working in off-grid energy? Are there any key people who inspired you to …

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Profile: Lilian Alphonce – East Africa

What is your off-grid energy business? Our business dries food, such as fruit and vegetables, using solar energy, in order to preserve post-harvest food. Can you give a brief overview? The business mainly deals with drying product by using solar energy. We provide services to farmers and training to customers so as to make them …

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Profile: Elifadhili Shaidi – East Africa

What is your off-grid energy business? The business is the production of affordable efficient stoves which uses less fuel to produce more heat. Can you give a brief overview? The problem we identified is that most stoves produced locally dissipate large amounts of heat to the surroundings, do not focus the energy to the pan, …

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Greenlink: We’re building a company, we’re not rescuing Africa

[:en] Maarten Strengers, Founder, Greenlink Location: De Bildt, Netherlands / Tanzania “We’re building a company, we’re not rescuing Africa.” As an electrical, mechanical and ICT engineer, Maarten Strengers flies to Africa when his technical know-how is needed; when there is a problem with installation capacity, or to advise on a solar community centre. “After a …

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Lytyfy: Solar home systems in rural India

[:en] Interview with Vishnu Raghunathan CEO & Co-Founder at Lytyfy “The appeal of the product is there only if the financing is there. So we decided to group the product with the financing.” After college, Vishnu Raghunathan and S. Deepak Kumar spent more than two years working for the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society, a …

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Making way for solar in Cameroon

[:en] Augustine Ndasi, Managing Director, Haute Energy Systems Ltd. Location: Limbe, South West Region, Cameroon “As we say in our dialect – no point waiting for someone, it’s better to get going!” Augustine Ndasi did not count on lugging equipment, weighing 12 tonnes, through rough terrain on the border of Congo. One tubular battery, which …

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Steve Andrews, Heya: for-profit models are working for clean technologies in Africa

Interview with Steve Andrews, CEO, NewLight Africa (Heya!) Location: London, UK and Nairobi, Kenya “Think of us as the Amazon of rural Africa” After some time in the solar lights business, Steve Andrews asked himself what more his customers could need. He was CEO of SunnyMoney, a company owned by the NGO SolarAid, which he …

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Making the market” for solar in northern Tanzania

Interview with Mohamedrafik Parpia Founder, Zara Solar Location: Mwanza, Tanzania “I didn’t know anything about solar” A Dutch woman walks into an electronics store in north-western Tanzania. It sounds like an improbable beginning. Karlijn Arkesteijn is one of the people Mohamedrafik Parpia credits for going from running a family business on the shores of Port …

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How will India install 10,000 micro-grids over the next five years?

Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President & MD, Customized Energy Solutions India (CES) and Executive Director, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) Harsh Thacker, Project Manager for MICRO, the Microgrid Initiative for Campus and Rural Opportunities, Customized Energy Solutions India (CES) Location: Pune, Maharashtra, India “Learning should not be proprietary; we have to learn from each other’s mistakes” …

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