A business that designs, assembles and disseminates energy technologies to rural Ghanaian communities, subsidized by sales in middle class markets. The venture also trains young people to learn how to assemble, install, and maintain solar lanterns and other energy technologies.
Today, Mensah’s business, Rural Lighting Solutions, has a working business model: sales of solar lighting systems to middle-class Ghanaians in Accra and Kumasi enable Mensah to sell subsidized, affordable lighting solutions to people living in rural communities nearby. In keeping with his business model, the technologies Mensah sells in rural Ghana are different than those he brings to customers in cities and towns. This is because the user needs are unique depending on where they live. One of the things Mensah is actively working on is improving the supply chain side of Rural Lighting Solutions. He said he often must wait to buy supplies until he’s sold most of the product he has on hand, but because it takes so long to receive supplies from international distributors, there’s often some lag time between selling finished products in Ghana, and ordering new parts from places like China. (via IDIN)
To help Rural Lighting Solutions grow, Mensah has spent a lot of his time training local young people to help with assembly, installation, and sales of the solar products he sells. And through the training, Mensah’s not only helping Rural Lighting Solutions move forward, he’s also providing valuable jobs in the solar industry to the local economy. One of Mensah’s major goals moving forward is to increase the number of young people he trains and help them to open mini workshops in villages across Ghana. Currently, Mensah has support from an IDIN microgrant to help grow his business and he’s always looking for ways to improve and sharpen the Rural Lighting Solutions model. (via IDIN)