Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?
We wish to reach 20,000 families in the next two years, through a network of 20 rural branches. We will leverage private and public support from goverments, companies, foundations and universities. We will create a replicable methodology and create the tools to grow a large business, empowering local community members. We also plan on creating a suite of add-on products for solar and provide larger solutions for a constant growing energy demand and needs. We are creating innovative services such as extended maintenance plans and solar home system rescues (a program where people can salvage their old government-provided solar systems that are not working), all of this in order to create a sustainable and replicable system.
Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?
Our business model, even though it has used subsidies and donations, is designed to work on a 100% market based approach. We provide affordable credits to users so they can purchase our technology. Each rural branch requires 10,000 USD investment and a monthly cost of 1500 USD, and solar home systems are sold in a range of 200-800 USD on credit. If we have 25+ clients every month we reach positive cash flow by month 6.
Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.
This is our first formal venture, however in the past I founded the SOEMA (student group for energy and environment) that now has over 400 members and continues to grow. Additionally, I developed a project that did not kick of on trying to use used cooking oil for biodiesel generation for university transport. Within Ilumexico we have created 2 different businesses: Tech development and rural electrification.