Lighting Youth in Tanzania

firefly lighting

Being part of the Growing SMEs Marketplace means a business plan “contain(s) all aspects of what financiers look for in an SME: ability to learn, timely communication, management commitment, strong management team, shared vision of where to take the enterprise and market demand for its product”, according to the selective jury of the BiD Network Foundation-sponsored Access to Sustainable Energy Challenge 2012.

This, and hard work, have resulted in Lawrence Makheya, Managing Director of MWANGA, being invited to the Netherlands as a featured entrepreneur during the upcoming Marketplace on 15th November.

Eight years ago Lawrence started MWANGA motivated by promoting “education and health through lighting for youth in household settings, hospital facilities, school dormitories and school classes where darkness or the use of unclean lighting has been prevailing.” He is proud that he can help reduce poverty in Tanzania through his business.

How does MWANGA do this?

Mwanga’s primary activity is to distribute, install and maintain solar lamps (Firefly series) and systems (PowerPack kits) manufactured by Barefoot Power Ltd. (an Australian company).  “For Mwanga, it is about giving every house, school and hospital in Tanzania access to clean-tech/sustainable lighting. This, in turn, empowers their environment and community to work productively and save money. ” MWANGA stands out thanks to the quality of its products,  distribution system,  management competencies and  growth potential of its  market.

Lawrence is one of the 50 international entrepreneur winners or finalists of a BiD Network Foundation-sponsored Business Plan Competition who will come to the Netherlands seeking  international exposure. Experts, SME practitioners and investors will attend the Access to Sustainable Energy Challenge 2012  to meet them and explore further growth possibilities.

“(The Growing SMEs Conference) will make me learn from others through the exchange of ideas and experiences that will help me in my future business endeavors. I will get an opportunity to make partners and contacts for my business, but maybe also friends. I hope my business will attract interested investors.”

The Access to Sustainable Energy Challenge 2012 in Tanzania provided coaching, feedback and support in the writing of business plans, training on “Ready for Finance: Business Planning & Management Skills, and Access to Financing and Investment Options”.