Ten winners have emerged for the 2018 Off-Grid Energy Challenge following their participation in the Nigerian Off-Grid Energy and Innovators Summit 2018.
They include Havenhill, Prado, Solmenz, A4&T and Darway Coast in the mini-grid category, Auxano, Eastwind and Alyx in the enabling business category, as well as Creeds and iKabin for the solar home system category, all of whom participated in competition in Lagos.
Entries for the 2019 edition of the challenge opens in mid-January 2019 for the three-year partnership aimed to seed up to 30 companies in the country over the period, in the project being co-sponsored by All On and the United States African Development Foundation (USADF).
The project, which provides a combined $100,000 for each recipient in seed capital in convertible debt, is planned to develop, scale-up or extend the use of renewable off-grid energy technologies, with focus on Niger Delta communities not served or underserved by existing power grids
According to the Chief Executive Officer of All On, Dr. Wiebe Boer, “the biggest challenge to Nigeria’s economic and social development is access to energy. These off-grid energy companies are introducing innovations that will improve households and local economies by providing affordable power to unserved and underserved communities.”
Also, one of the recipients and Chief Executive Officer of Auxano, Chuka Umezulora, was upbeat that with the funding, his solar panels local assembly company would “raise its daily production to over 100 panels and double its staff strength to meet the rising demand.
“Beyond the financial relief that came with this funding, it has also exposed us to global best business practices as we continually improve in the way we conduct our business daily.”
Similarly, Hannah Kabir of Creeds, a solar home system company, said “the USADF-All On funds will facilitate the scale-up of our lease-to-own standalone solar systems to over 100 SMEs in Plateau and Rivers states, with affordable instalment repayments.
“By transitioning to standalone solar systems, SMEs save up to 50 per cent on daily fuel spend on generators, which can be channelled into growing their businesses and productive activities.”
Photo Caption: Some of the winners of the 2018 challenge