For most countries of the world, especially on the African continent, one of the biggest challenges is the affordability of clean energy. This was what prompted Nthabiseng Mosia and her co-founders to establish EasySolar to tackle the challenge of unclean and unaffordable energy.
Nthabiseng Mosia was born in Ghana and raised in South Africa, and in her words, ‘I am a Pan-African at heart who is passionate about building homegrown solutions to the continent’s most pressing development challenges. I was cognizant from a young age about the centrality electricity has in daily life as South Africa’s national grid would occasionally go down in my home, leaving my family and I scrounging around in the dark. While I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy mostly decent electricity services, I’ve also become acutely aware, through my travels around the continent, that many Africans (in fact two-thirds) lack access to electricity and are still using toxic, expensive lighting alternatives‘
Her passion influenced her to pursue a Masters in Energy Finance and Policy at Columbia University in 2014, where she met her co-founders and subsequently started the company which is now known as EasySolar.
Nthabiseng Mosia and her team members established the Sierra Leone-based social venture to foster the interests of citizens and the commercial sector as a whole, and they basically make clean energy affordable to those who have no access to it by providing devices that are powered by solar using the systematic financing approach of “rent-to-own” and they get this done using the Pay-As-You-Go technology and mobile money.
They are able to track sales and payments through an online platform, and they give room for the creation of credit scores and remote customer support. They operate as a last mile distributor and they reach customers easily by the grid through a widespread network of agents in various communities. Hence, making clean energy both readily affordable and accessible to citizens.
When asked what gives her the most satisfaction of being an entrepreneur, she said, ‘there is something incredibly rewarding about waking up each day and feel like you’re having an impact, a real impact on people’s lives. For many of our customers, it’s their first time having access to any form of electricity. To listen to them share their stories (whether it’s how their children can now study better at night, how they feel more secure at night, or how they appreciate the customer service and dedication that our sales team provides them with), that gives me this humbling feeling that I’ve created something beyond myself; that the work that we do as a company has meaning for our customers and their families.’
Nthabiseng is also passionate about raising independent women like herself, who do not wait for things to happen, but rather jump at opportunities and make things work. According to her ‘Never apologize for wanting a seat at the table and pursuing your dreams. For African women in particular, it’s not going to be easy and that’s not necessarily because you’re a woman, that’s because entrepreneurship is not for the fainthearted. Being a woman can make it harder… But most of all, my advice is jump. Go after what you want. Dare to go after your dreams, no matter how ridiculous they or the notion of you being the one to achieve them seems.’
Nthabiseng is a millennial, one worth looking up to. And her out of the box approach to solving social issues in Africa stands her out distinctly.