Building African Entrepreneurs

//Building African Entrepreneurs

Over 450 new jobs created in Africa within 12 months

Azuri’s PayGo solar power is enabling entrepreneurs across Africa to grow as sustainable and self-supporting commercial businesses, creating economic growth at the local level. With partners in 10 countries, from Kenya in the East to Sierra Leone in the West, Azuri’s partners have added some 465 new full and part-time roles in the last 12 months in rural communities, selling, supporting and maintaining the new sector of PayGo solar technology. This number is likely to be exceeded by the number of new roles created by end users as a result of having entry-level domestic power.

Since attending the Ashden conference in 2013, where Azuri was awarded the 2013 Philanthropies Ashden Award for Innovation, Azuri’s partner in Kenya, Mibawa Suppliers Ltd, has seen rapid company growth, adding 75 new sub-distributors throughout West Kenya. Mibawa’s success has recently also been recognised by the US Government’s Power Africa initiative, where the company was among the first award winners of the new GE/USADF Off-Grid Energy Challenge, which was launched in 2013 to support African-originated solutions that generate jobs, improve incomes and raise standards of living. With the $100,000 grant, Mibawa will accelerate their work in delivering PayGo solar power to rapidly increase the spread of energy and economic access to otherwise under-served consumers.

Similarly, in West Africa, Azuri’s distribution partner in Sierra Leone has more than trebled in size in the last year, delivering PayGo solar products not only in the region around the capital, Freetown but also further afield in rural areas.

The impact on employment extends beyond those directly employed as part of the supply chain. In fishing villages such as Tombo, just south of Freetown, fishermen use the lights to be able to work at night and are able to keep their phones reliably charged to let the women know when their boats are coming into the port. The women are then able to sort the fish after sunset with the solar lights.

Azuri continues to support local entrepreneurs to grow, whilst providing revenue-generating opportunities to other local businesses with the provision of reliable phone charging and lighting. In the last year, Azuri estimates that 25 jobs have been created in Africa for every new Azuri staff member in the UK.

Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri Technologies said: “Delivering a PayGo Solar power service in rural sub-Saharan Africa is a partnership, bringing together innovative technology with the skills and enthusiasm of local partner companies. Azuri is proud to be supporting the growth of local entrepreneurs, both as suppliers of solar products and in households throughout the continent where end users are benefiting from light and phone charging to extend their earning potential.”

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