Alumni Spotlight; Lois Gicheru Wins Best Entrepreneurs Award, Africa EU Energy Partnership
Strathmore alumna Lois Wambui Gicheru, won Best Entrepreneurs Award in the Young Scientist and Entrepreneurs competition hosted by Africa EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), in Milan Italy. The former Bachelor of Commerce (BCOM)student who majored in Finance and Accounting09 class, is set to provide energy in the rural through solar panels.
About 200 people sent their profiles to compete for 10 scholarships, that would allow them an opportunity to participate in the AEEP 2nd stakeholder forum that was held on 16th and 17th May, 2016.
The competitors were invited to submit applications on initiatives and research addressing issues related to energy access, availability and policy. Shortlisted candidates were then expected to pitch in front of participants at the forum for a chance of winning best scientist and best entrepreneur awards. To her excitement, Lois won the best entrepreneur category.
One of the aims of the AEEP is to facilitate and promote a broad-based and wide-ranging people-centered partnership, by ensuring the effective participation of academia, civil society and the private sector in policy making processes, and delivering direct benefits for African and European citizens.
Lois company SolAfrique Limited, started in 2012, focuses on electricity. Lois works at providing micro grids – to businesses in the rural areas, through metering solar power electricity to the businesses. This provision is a more reliable option for business owners and home owners due to its reliability. The pilot program for this project will be established in Kibwezi town, Makueni County.
Lois interest in electricity started in university, however the industry had not adopted renewable energy as much as they have now. As a result, Lois chose to study BCOM as she continued to keep a keen eye on this industry in future. In her 4th year research project, Lois worked on Environmental management finance, a project she believes fueled this interest further.
Lois has had to learn a lot about the technical aspect of the energy industry, skills which combined with her business background, she believes will give Solafrique the best chance for success. She had to learn about watts, working in the energy field, working with the engineers in this field, how to calculate electricity among many other key details.
Lois is grateful for the opportunity accorded her to attend the forum, because other than receiving an award, the forum opened an array of networking opportunities Lois believes are key to furthering her business venture.
Congratulations Lois on this great achievement!