“I used to be very disappointed getting back home from school to find no electricity at home. I knew then that energy is a business opportunity,” words spoken by Patrick Ngowi founder and CEO of Helvetic Group. It was this effortless idea, and to some extent frustration that turned him into a millionaire by the age of 28.
Helvetic Group simply put is leading Tanzania towards the transition to sustainable, renewable energy. They do this by taking care of the supply installation, maintenance of renewable energy and performing feasibility power studies. Besides the work they do for profit the Helvetic Group operate the Life for Light Foundation. It aims to provide electricity to women living in rural areas, in addition to assisting them to keep their businesses open longer at night which increases profitability. Above and beyond this they are committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS, free education and youth empowerment.
What makes Helvetic Group so remarkable is that through the genius idea of Patrick Ngowi (recently named among the 30 most promising young entrepreneurs in Africa 2014) they turned a challenge into an opportunity. According to World Bank only 14% of Tanzanian’s have access to electricity. I relay these figures to you post after post surprisingly still in shock. I and probably Patrick Ngowi and his team cannot simply comprehend that in this day and age the figures are that low. Helvetic Group through solar energy, biogas, wind energy, hydrogen fuel and geothermal energy want to help light Tanzania. When you think about all the people across the country, region that will benefit from the work that they are doing you can’t help but applaud them for their work.
Inspire Afrika aren’t the only ones who’ve taken notice of the good work they are doing, some of the many awards they have won include:
· Tanzania Top 100 Mid-Sized Companies Winner
· Future Africa Awards 2013 Nominee (Patrick Ngowi)
· Young Person of the Year 2013 Nominee (Patrick Ngowi)
· 50 Young African’s Making A Difference
A lot of the time on the African continent the youth complain that there are no opportunities, that there is a lack of funding on the continent but Helvetic Group is demonstrating that any challenge can be turned into a money making prospect.