Businesses in boxes: how solar is creating African entrepreneurs
Access to power is a major issue in Africa, and in solar, many people feel they have the solution.
Yet solar is doing more than switching on off-grid populations, and providing a potentially lucrative and investor friendly business opportunities to companies like M-KOPA Solar and BBOXX.
It is also helping to create a middleman later of “solarpreneurs”, offering people the chance to make revenues by offering people in disconnected areas solar services.
One such company doing this is Rwandan hardware-as-a-service company ARED, which is empowering local people with a “business in a box” solar kiosk platform that enables them to start their own businesses by charging phones and selling virtual top-ups.
Launched in January 2013, ARED is focused primarily on women and disabled individuals, and shares revenues with the micro-franchisee.
“We recruit, train and monitor the kiosk operators and we share the revenue on most of the services we provide on the kiosk,” chief executive officer Henri Nyakarundi (CEO) told Disrupt Africa.
Photo courtesy of Sameer Halai.