This week members of the SOGERV team from United Purpose and University of Strathclyde have been working with the community entrepreneurs in Mandrade and Kandeu.
In Mandrade, the SOGERV entrepreneur Francis Story has been growing his PSP sales business. After 10 months of operation he has almost reached the forecast annual revenue identified as the available market in our pre-project market assessment.
The next step for Francis is expanding his Productive Use (small business) customers. Currently he serves two businesses from the energy station (a barber shop and cold drink sales) and has two further business customers who power their shops from standalone PV systems. He is aiming to connect 3 more business customers in the coming months.
In Thendo Village, the energy station is up an running and the community energy committee are developing their business. The committee employ a sales person and a security guard for the business.
The Thendo community entrepreneurs are initially focusing on establishing their PSP business. Sales of smaller portable solar lighting products have been exceptional in the opening months, now the challenge is to introduce flexible payment schemes and marketing for larger products. To support this, knowledge exchange visits with Francis from Mandrade have taken place.
In parallel the committee are targeting connections to small business (PUE) customers. They have already connected a barber shop and are now discussing options for connections to nearby shops in the trading center.