Award-winning Christian entrepreneur, Nathaniel Peat, and his business partner, Dowadoneye Ojarikre, aim to spread light and power during Christmas via their company, Gennex, set up in 2012 to provide inexpensive electricity to some of the world’s poorest people.
The concept of the company is simple. Nathaniel explained, “Myself and co-founder Dowadoneye Ojarikre discovered that 1.3 billion people had no electrical power. In Africa, only 18% are connected and many are left without power. Having a mobile phone charged is essential to many in rural areas, but charging stations are sometimes located up to 15km away from villages, and young children were still being burnt by kerosene lamps in homes. We both thought that in this decade that was unacceptable.”
Through sheer determination, making sacrifices, and with support from Virgin Unite and Virgin Start-Up, Gennex has developed a number of affordable products for disadvantaged people in the developing world. Nathaniel shared, “We have solar home lighting and charging systems that can power small devices, which are affordable through bank partners that purchase the products, and the rural people then pay them off in instalments.”
The unique payment system, devised by Gennex, not only makes their products affordable for their target audience, but the company has also ensured that their customers, who utilise this payment system, receive financial literacy training, so they know how to handle money.
To date, Gennex products have been tested in Malawi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Haiti and Jamaica, and the company has partnered with Kenyan company, Greening Kenya Initiative, to run a project there.
Gennex is run on Christian principles, and is keen to raise money for other charities through its work. It has partnered with the Shai Foundation, which supports families in Haiti.
Nathaniel has big plans for the charity in 2015. He shared, “We are aiming to run a solar lighting project with schoolchildren in Ghana. In addition to that, in Kenya we are hoping to scale to a full operation in at least six places around rural Kenya. We have a team of great people on the ground, both here in the UK, in Africa and the Caribbean. Doing good is at our heart, and may God be glorified in all things.”
Visit www.gennex.info for more details.