Small businesses remain the life-blood of several economies both in the developed West and our developing African continent. In Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation, small and medium scale businesses practically run the show. The country houses an estimated 38 million small businesses who contribute over $1 billion to its GDP.
Despite the promising ideas behind these businesses and the enterprising nature of those managing them, a sizeable number have struggled to significantly scale up due to several external issues. Lack of affordable capital to speed up growth, weak infrastructure and poor energy supply.
Energy has been a mainstay in the list of hurdles of small businesses. Epileptic power supply, staggering around 5000MW for over 180 million people and about 50 million businesses, has left small businesses reeling from higher energy costs due to alternative sources such generator, which beyond being expensive, is also environmentally unfriendly. Despite several policy shifts, major restructuring, and significant funding, energy has remained scarce and what are available in terms of alternatives are usually degrading to the environment.
To address the challenges facing small businesses, particularly in not just enhancing energy supply but growing a greener climate for these budding businesses, TellCo Europe Nigeria has announced its plan to introduce into the Nigerian market, TellCoSol Off-Grid Solar Power System, a Swiss technology that aims to electrify the country.
TellCo Europe Nigeria is a renewable and clean energy solutions company incorporated in Nigeria under the Companies and Allied Matters ACT.
The company was established as a vehicle to providing Off-Grid Solar Power Business Solutions to MSMES in Nigeria, Solar Homes Systems to households, and Solar Electricity Generation for a greener and sustainable urban future in Nigeria and Africa. “Energy is at the heart of most critical economic, environmental and developmental issues facing Nigeria today. Clean, efficient, affordable and reliable energy services are indispensable for Nigeria’s prosperity. So, ending energy poverty in Nigeria, and indeed, in Sub-Saharan Africa, is a Green Movement!” said Olawale Akinwumi, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, in a signed statement from the company.
said that the move was to bridge the energy gap in the country and to ensure that bottlenecks associated with lack of access to electricity were mitigated for businesses and households.
TellCo Europe Switzerland was already arranging funding support for 1,000,000 Units of Off-Grid Solar Business Solution for Barbers in Nigeria. The barbers are the initial project off-takers, according to the statement, with other key segments of the Nigerian SME market to be targeted in the following phases. Already, a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) had signed with the National Association of Barbers and Salon Employers in Abuja, in 2016, in cognizance with the planned phases of roll out. “We are the only TellCo franchise in Africa for now. This system is Swiss technology, a 1200W Solar power system. The system has some fixed options: AC standing fans; AC TV (32 inch) and AC refrigerator (70 litres). Its daily use is from 18 to 24 hours. It is insured for two years – which has never happened in Africa and its installation attracts no extra cost.”
The project is expected to launch officially in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, on May 8, 2018, and would usher in a new, much more energized and greener climate for small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria.