Tanzanian off-grid energy provider Off Grid Electric (OGE) has unveiled its new “business in a box” offering, providing a range of solar appliances designed to support rural entrepreneurs across Africa in running their businesses.
Attending the 7th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) held in Silicon Valley last week, OGE announced it is to branch out from serving only households in Africa, and has created a business offering for entrepreneurs based in rural areas on the continent.
The company said its Kazi na Zola suite of solar appliances is designed to help rural entrepreneurs create successful businesses and generate income.
The new solar-powered offerings include tools such as phone charging strips, entertainment systems through to hair clippers, to enable local “self-starters” to run a successful business fully on solar.
Entrepreneurs pay for their products over time via small micro-payments collected through mobile money.
“Africa is a continent of entrepreneurs. From the farmer selling her harvest, to the salon owner serving his neighborhood, to the shopkeeper charging mobile phones, these are the businesses that are the lifeblood of local communities,” said Xavier Helgesen, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Off Grid Electric.
“We built this offering as a tool to enable entrepreneurs to start and grow the businesses they’ve always wanted to, but haven’t had the power to be able to.”
OGE has completed successful trials of Kazi na Zola in Tanzania, and the product line will be available country-wide by the end of 2016.