Episode 29: How 3 young Africans in the diaspora started a renewable energy company solving the electricity problem in Nigeria
Welcome to episode 29 of Africans Building Africa Podcast!
My name is Amadou Hanne, founder of Africans Building Africa and the host of Africans Building Africa Podcast. In this Episode, I interviewed Ifeanyi Umejei who’s the founder of Ice Commercial Power, a renewable energy company providing electricity to small businesses in Nigeria.
While Ifeanyi Umejei was struggling to stay motivated as an analyst at Morgan Stanley, he decided to take a trip to his home country, Nigeria. During his visit he realized one of the main reason why his country was not progressing economically is because of the lack of infrastructure more specifically electricity. About a year later, he left his well-paying job to start a company, Ice Commercial Power, with two of his friends.
More than 50% of Nigerians are constantly living without electricity. According to the World Bank, Nigeria experiences the greatest number of power outages monthly. This problem is a greater burden on businesses. In fact, Nigerian businesses experience an average of 239 hours of outage every month. To solve this problem, Ice Commercial Power focuses on providing sustainable energy to small businesses in Nigeria. The company has currently launched a pilot with an investment of $120,000 providing electricity to 15 businesses in Nigeria.
In this episode, we discussed:
- How and why they started,
- Why they focus on providing electricity to small businesses,
- What it was like entering a complex and unknown industry
This Episode is sponsored by: Abjel Communications
“Abjel communications provides support in term of PR and media relations for entrepreneurs, startups and businesses that are innovating to help Africans. We started this because we realize that there was this missing presence of Africans when it comes to discussing really important issues around the world or when it comes to entrepreneurship or innovation africans entrepreneurs were missing in the conversation. So, what Abjel wants to do is to support these entrepreneurs, startups and most of these young people who came back from aboard busting with ideas and developing products to support and change the narative on the continent. We are hoping to suport them to help them with training on how to handle themselves when they go to speak to big media outlet. Half of all we do is pro-bono and what we charge we use it to reinvest and support other entrepreneurs or startups and we’re happy to say we’re the first social enterprise communications agencies. We hope that by supporting Africans Building Africa most entrepreneurs will get to know about us and come to us for support. We want to be part of there journey, we’re happy when an entrepreneur succeed. Come and talk to us if you need communications support at Abjel.com” ~ Adisa Amanor-Wilks