Technology and Impact : From solar village to Online marketing

April 6, 2017

The last couple of years in the Renewable Energy industry had me visit different towns and rural areas to spread light through portable solar lanterns. By rural areas, I mean ravaged places like Nzambani, Kyuso and Ngomeni where nothing much happens. We opened one little outlet in one of the towns to make our Pay-to-go model accessible. Our plan was to have members deposit with us the net purchase cost of a unit (to minimize risk) and give them up to 3 months to clear their balance. We worked with communities whose chief was the area president and source of authority – he/she knew almost everyone. I loved most the end result in these little, almost forgotten villages more than the overall goal of the project which was to access wider regions while creating sustainable businesses for entrepreneurs. I met old women in their fifties, sixties and seventies who had used ‘korobois’ – tiny kerosene lanterns – all their lives and I demonstrated the hand held miracle that emitted clear yellow light that wasn’t smoky or harmful. Light graced by the sun. The next day after our demo, they would walk miles from humble shelters with crumbled notes safely tacked inches away from their armpits. Their grand-kids could read after school hours, the expensive kerosene was soon forgotten. Facebook and twitter could run behind their backs because technology had hit home. And now we can safely bring them Facebook and Twitter, websites and blogs. We can tell their children that there’s a bigger world out of Ngomeni and its easily accessible with far much bigger and better opportunities. Brighter than the light we took home. There’s a platform to share their story, their ideas, their businesses, their growth and 4 billion plus people are waiting.

The past few weeks have been exciting and rushed and exhausting – as expected in projects. Timeline is the bit that gets me on my toes. I get to see where things started, review strategies, know what’s working, what’s not, learn a dozen of lessons and beautifully unravel the Impact.

I am thrilled to get this opportunity to learn and share concepts that are core to every business – having an online presence. Online marketing has revolutionized the way businesses access customers. It’s cheaper, targeted, globalized, and can be easily analyzed in terms of Returns on investments. The most important aspect is the conversation – feedback and reviews on products and services. And it doesn’t matter whether you are in Ngomeni or Kyuso, Newyork or Abuja – time and chance has happened to us all. Other regions may have beaten us to – how this internet thing and online marketing works – but we are here now. We want to share this with everyone already in business and those anticipating to start one. We want to give businesses visibility and traffic that will generate leads to long term clients who will leave reviews and in return create more business opportunities.

Africa 118 Inc. a leading capacity building and business incubation provider has been sponsored by Google to deliver training to SMEs across Africa as part of our Digital Skills for Africa initiative. The segments include:

Building an online presence
Online strategy
Marketing websites
Search Engine Optimization (SEOs)
Search Engine Marketing (SEM), AdWords
Digital opportunities

Members will have the opportunity to acquire:

  • Free Google My Business listing
  • Free Info Moby listing
  • Subsidized website development
  • Subsidized 3-months online marketing campaign

Link up to be slotted in the ongoing training.

Glad to be a part of more Impact.

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