Mobile solar kiosk

one stop shop kiosk to promote entrepreneurship at the BOP.


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rue de depute B33 kigali rwanda
RW Rwanda

In development

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

I believe innovation and entrepreneurship is the key to solving unemployment challenges globally. ARED is a Rwanda based company that provides business solutions via its signature product, the Mobile Solar Kiosk (MSK) – a one-stop-shop and self contained unit from which mobile money, mobile phones, airtime, and solar lamps can be purchased, as well as where customers can charge their mobile phones and other small devices through built in power outlets that allow for up to 30 devices to be charged at once. The MSK will also be a source of wireless internet – important with increasingly affordable smartphones and data that remains relatively expensive – and in the future will incorporate machine to machine (M2M) software that will enable valuable consumer data to be collected. Based on a low-cost franchise model, MSKs are sold to interested franchisees that demonstrate high business potential for a one-time fee of $1000 which includes training, maintenance, insurance, transport of the kiosk and startup capital of products and services they will need on the kiosk, thus creating business solutions for people looking for business opportunities, and addressing the significant unemployment problem in the region. Simultaneously and more broadly, the MSK provides a practical solution in an innovative and dynamic way to a population enjoying a significant increase in mobile phone penetration.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

ARED has developed a program to promote youth and women franchisees. We notice that only man was applying into our program because of the lack of access to funding and lack of purchasing power.So to change that we decided to create a platform so women can take full advantage of our program. Our goal is to get a minimum of 30% women franchisees. The women will also require less investment to start a franchise (about $200 less ) so we can increase the percentage of women franchisees up to 50%.
Entrepreneurship programs has become a key fight against unemployment issues in the region. In Rwanda about 200000 students graduate from college every year but only 20000 jobs are created. However, starting a business is highly challenging for the youth because of it high rate of failure, up to 80% of SME go out of business within there first year.
ARED wants to change that. Instead of having the youth starting a business by themselves, we plan to offer them a proven platform and assit them along the way to be successful using a low cost franchise business model. Most of our franchisees are below 25 years old, and we put in place a strong support system such as free maintenance, training program etc….

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

According to the world bank, 1.2 billion people are still without electricity world wide, about 30% of unemployment among the youth. Of the 1.2 billion people without electricity, 620 million of them are in African countries. The continent has around 30% unemployment rates among the youth. Entrepreneurship and innovation are the key to solve some of those issues on the continent.
We have started our business in Rwanda with minimal resources and plan to develop business in other African countries as well starting from Burundi.
Electricity availability is a huge problem and telecom outreach and mobile banking yet another problem. This coupled with the fact that currently there is no «mobile» renewable energy based electricity supplier which can also match telecom companies with their potential customers, we see a large market potential for our business idea.
There are two avenues of scale for the company:
We anticipate that the next major avenue for scale up will be from future partnerships with major telecommunications companies in the region. The partnership would potentially involve marketing mobile phones, selling airtime and advertising from the MSK platform.
Second, we plan to develop partnership with local business people to start our expansion on the continent. We build this technology for the Africa market, and we did apply for a patent. We already have some interest from companies in Nigeria and Uganda. We anticipate having around 100000 MSK on the major African Market.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

Having established several small ventures in the United States, Henri decided to return to his home in Rwanda to take on a project that manifested on the ground his belief that innovation and entrepreneurship – business – is key to solving key development challenges. Henri has developed a pragmatic and context specific solution clearly in response to keen insight into the market that can be easily adapted to be exported to other contexts. That is, in a highly fluid market – there has been a 39% increase in mobile phone usage from 2006 to 2011 – an important component of the MSK is its technological adaptability, which is key given the technologically volatile developing market context. The solution is designed such that it is environmentally friendly, confronts a key human development challenge, and does so in a sustainable way via business and the promotion of entrepreneurship. Furthermore, it addresses a basic human need, but does so in a way that is profitable both for the franchisee, and for the franchise itself. In this sense, Henri is as at the forefront of an increasingly-common-yet-still-underutilized trend towards a social responsibility paradigm that embraces the idea that healthy business solutions are a far more valuable form of ‘aid.’ As the sole owner of the business and his full time job, his confidence in this solution as a viable business both for his franchisees as well as for himself.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

we using a franchise business model in partnership with the telecom companies.

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