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Successful Market Entry Strategies in Africa
FREEPLAY ENERGY plc FREEPLAY FOUNDATION Non-profit social enterprise established in 1998 in the UK Registered charities in the UK. Refugees & people who are ill Mission: to provide dependable access to clean. women. London-based publicly traded for-profit clean micro-energy company established in 1995 Key markets US. mission. India and humanitarian sector Manufactures and sells products with patented Freeplay technology in audio. Europe. Share a brand and a similar mission. boards . renewable energy technologies to those most in need. US and South Africa Offices in Johannesburg & London Operates widely across subSaharan Africa focusing on orphans. but are totally separate organisations with separate boards. illumination and mobile phone charging Manufacturing in China and India Mission: to provide access to energy to everyone all the time.
BATTERIES ARE A GENDER ISSUE .
600 spring powered wind-up radios distributed Radios went with children everywhere Listened all waking hours – eased isolation.RWANDA PROJECT in 2000/1 101. AIDS and other diseases 1. felt safe Were devastated if radio broke or malfunctioned .000 children heading households 17% children orphaned by genocide.
000 distributed reaching 6m listeners in 16 countries – 70% are female .LIFELINE RADIO An idea for a robust solar powered wind-up radio designed for vulnerable children and distance education Won first Tech Museum of Innovation Award in 2001 From concept-to-market 2 years to create the first & only radio engineered for the humanitarian sector Since April ’03 160.
NEXT STEP for RADIO Create an MP3 enabled Lifeline to bridge the gap between radio and Internet Teachers. learners. womens’ and community groups can play recorded or downloaded content on demand Potentially huge impact on nomadic and pastoral groups who don’t sent their girls to school and for health workers and teachers for ongoing training .
APPROACH End-user backwards .starting with lighting needs assessments of most vulnerable in rural and periurban areas Attention paid to what lighting is and isn’t used for and it could be used to for End users consulted in design brief – engage Freeplay Energy for prototype development Work with local organisations to train end users and prototypes are field trialed Direct inclusion of women and girls at every step .
The protectionist nature of African (developing world) economies .
CHALLENGES for ALL Customs Why not manufacture in Africa? Lack of a regional approach Fluctuating dollar & other currencies Distribution .
DISTRIBUTION Lack of infrastructure Terrain & weather Supply chain & logistics Security .
WAY FORWARD Learn from vertically integrated companies Pay attention to logistics and supply chain Identify suitable microfinance partners Partnerships Involve current local energy suppliers .
WOMEN LIGHTING UP AFRICA! There is no valid reason why women cannot be involved in every aspect of lighting: Design & testing Maintenance & repair Micro-finance Sales & marketing Each sector is a viable enterprise for women! .
The 85% of those living in sub-Saharan Africa without modern energy is both our challenge and our opportunity. .
Freeplay Foundation Patron ### .“I can’t think of a more noble way to have an immediate impact on the lives and future of people who need light to help them find their way” -Actor Tom Hanks.