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  In Nigeria today, among other national challenges, electricity is a major problem for Nigerian homes and businesses. There is a multi-decade problem in the power sector. Despite the importance of electricity to the growth of economies, its empowerment of local industries and businesses, small and medium enterprises, and even agro-based and non-agro-based industries, the epileptic power supply in the nation can be traumatizing. Whereas, where millions see problems, the entrepreneur sees opportunities. 
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The biggest secret to the rise of high and middle-income economies like China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, and so on is that government doesn’t solve all the problems. Rather, the problems in these climes are solved by the cooperation of entrepreneurs and the government. It is on this note that countries like Egypt solved their electricity problems by augmenting their traditional power supply with the use of solar power. Most of these solar powers were provided by private businesses.  In Nigeria, many homes and businesses have adopted the use of solar power. However, the use is still scanty compared to other countries. With the use of technology, you can build a solar power startup that solves people’s power problems. Below, I itemized a few solar power business ideas you can spin around with technology
  • Solar-Powered Food Processor Equipment

Food processing and food preservation are fast becoming a great business idea for entrepreneurs. Food is an essential commodity that humans can’t do without. 
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Studies have shown that the world’s food bank is growing at a geometric rate, yet the cost of buying food is rising. However, it is not easy for nations suffering from the epileptic power supply. With the current rise in power failure, there is so much food wastage. Most of this food wastage is attributed to a lack of power supply to preserve them. Herein is an opportunity for entrepreneurs: building solar-powered food preservation and processing equipment.  For example, building a solar-powered refrigerator or food dryer that is powered by solar will earn you so much beyond money, but a company with a mission. What about helping fruit farmers to process their surplus fruits into juice with solar-powered processor, instead of allowing them to spoil due to bad sales and inability to preserve them?
  • Subscription Payment Platform

There are several solar companies in Nigeria that are providing power solutions to Nigerians and businesses in Nigeria. However, there is a huge power deficit in the country. For example, MTN partnered with Lumos Electricity to provide electricity to customers, and customers can pay a renewal subscription through their mobile phones. Users use airtime to renew theirs as in the case of MTN and Lumos.
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However, despite the apparent presence of MTN in this space, you can start a FinTech startup that focuses on consumers that want to pay to renew their subscriptions. 
  • Online Marketplace

Another startup you can build around solar energy is by creating an online marketplace for customers to buy and sell solar panels and other related products. In this marketplace, buyers meet sellers, as well as customers meeting installers and repairers. This online market platform will concern itself with everything solar power facilities and equipment. 

Final Words

Building a solar energy startup is all about meeting the electricity needs of Nigerians in the face of failing and costly power supply. As we have discussed above, all you have to do to grow a successful solar energy startup is either build a solar-powered startup that preserves and processes food, or create a subscription platform for electricity users, or as well build an online marketplace where everything solar energy sold, distributed or installed.  Featured Image Source: Quartz
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This article was first published on 3rd June 2022


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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