Increasing Nigeria’s Energy Access Bridging Nigeria’s Energy Access Gap: **Renewable Energy Startups’ to Receive Incubation Support and Win $10,000

*Chisom Udemuezue

**Ifeoma Malo

Through the AllOn/CTIAF Enterprise Development Project, a group of 18 early stage entrepreneurs are currently undergoing top class incubation support from Clean Technology Hub. These enterprises include — a solar powered battery pack for lightning and powering gadgets; inverters manufactured from recycled laptop batteries; Uninterruptible Power System with automatic billing meters; a portable solar powered device for charging mobile phones; a renewable energy solution to IAP (Indoor Air Pollution) with zero emissions; a remote monitoring device and metering solution for gas cylinders; and a fuel level to eliminate upfront cooking gas costs.

These are some of the smart innovations that are currently being incubated under the Off-Grid Energy Ideation Challenge run by Clean Technology Hub in partnership with All On. These teams will receive support and funding of $10,000. These new businesses at scale can contribute significantly to closing the energy access gap currently affecting the un-served and underserved segments of the Nigerian population. With over 60% of such communities un-electrified, these areas,– mostly rural and deep rural communities; often tend to be lower income or impoverished areas and are often the hardest hit in terms of energy poverty in Nigeria Furthermore, several millions of Nigerians connected to the grid experience unstable and irregular power supply on a daily basis with an average of only four hours a day and can be served with an increase in service providers that cater to their niche markets, demographics and communities.

The incubatees are currently under-going a full bouquet of enterprise development courses including Business Development, Understanding the Legal Regulatory and Tax Compliance Issues Involved in Starting a Business, Establishing Product Market Fit, and Design, Prototyping and Testing. Expert facilitators mostly from the private sector have taken the incubatees on substantive ways to structure, build and grow a business. Ms. Mercy Olrunfemi while facilitating the session on “milestone setting and developing a lean model canvas” further mentioned that businesses must ensure that their customers need their products. Whilst Ms. Frances Udukwu, a staff of All On mentioned that 120 Million people are without access to electricity and this creates a market opportunity during her session with the companies on understanding target customers.

An incubatee working on developing standalone solar energy systems to underserved communities in Africa, remarked that the training had positively impacted his knowledge of the business and the regulations underpinning the sector.” Another incubatee working on clean cook gas technology gave his remark by saying, “This training has increased the scope of our business by enlightening us on the way to go about proper planning of our business using lean model canvas and how to boot strap our business, more importantly how to prepare a compelling business plan, understand intellectual rights, patents, tax and compliance issues.” Yet a another team of incubatees say they have learnt a lot on product positioning, customer segmentation and targets and they have gained “the opportunity to interact with other entrepreneurs and with seasoned professionals who could provide guidance for growing our company.”

All On is an off grid energy impact investment company that works with partners to increase access to commercial energy products and services for under-served and unserved off-grid energy markets in Nigeria, with a special focus on the Niger Delta. Clean Tech Incubation and Acceleration Foundation is a hub for the research, development, demonstration and incubation of clean and green ideas and technologies in Africa, and their validation for commercial stage development. It is also an early start-up incubator for inventions and innovations in clean energy, a consultancy for sustainability and energy efficiency solutions, and a driver of clean energy and climate smart investments into Africa.

The organizers Clean Technology Hub, believe that the Off-Grid Energy Ideation Challenge will enable All On to further her mandate to collaborate with various stakeholders to leverage their capabilities to close the energy access gap in Nigeria.

*Ms. Chisom Udemezue — leads the Enterprise Development Program at Clean Technology Hub

**Ms. Ifeoma Malo — is the CEO of Clean Technology Hub

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Clean Technology Hub

Clean Technology Hub

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Clean Technology Hub is a hybrid hub for research, policy development, community engagement, & incubation of clean energy & climate resilience ideas in Nigeria.