Sun City Energy

Sun City Energy: Mobile Solar Water Pump

Giza, EgyptSohag, Egypt
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We are the firs venture to design, build and sell mobile solar water pumps locally. These are small-scale, reliable and affordable pumps tailored to the needs of small farmers at the base of the pyramid. This pump will be the firs of its kind that provide a feasible alternative to diesel pumps.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if the 5 million small Egyptian farmers who own less than one acre switch from diesel pumps to our affordable mobile solar powered pumps.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Energy subsidies removal has impacted small farmers who use diesel pumps for irrigation.Millions of these small farmers have been hampered by this new situation without any existing alternative.Moreover, there is a growing concern on the worsening environmental impacts of using diesel pumps that generates tons of carbon and green house gases. There is no available green, affordable technology to these small farmers.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

My venture develops and builds an innovative mobile solar water pumps that would represent an economically feasible alternative to diesel pumps. These pumps are carefully designed and engineered to meet the needs of irrigation of small farmers who own less than one acre. Our product is built using and integrating available technologies of solar panels, pump inverter, and electric pumps in one efficient final product. All these components are mounted on a small trailer that can be easily pulled by a car, tractor or donkey. The design is compact, reliable and cheap. Eventually, a group of farmers can share the same unit and split the cost, or one person can use the system as a source of income by renting it to other farmers.

Awards

Tony Elumelue Entrepreneurship Program
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

My social business idea will be able to reduce CO2 emissions from using diesel pumps,build reliability of renewable energy solutions in the agriculture field, decrease reliance on dirty fossil fuels in agriculture activities, reduce cost of growing food and create green job opportunities in the local market. These objectives can be measured as follows: We estimate creation of 7 to 10 permanent jobs for each 1000 units to be built per year. Farmers will save around 3000 LE/$400 of operating cost per acre yearly; this savings will end up as an added profit. Savings are expected to improve the quality of life of small farmers and may impact the final food prices. Some farmers may use the unit as source of income by renting it to farmers.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We have not sell any product yet, we are still in the design and testing stage. However, we will be the first company to offer this totally new product that is strongly needed in the local market. We build this product using local workforce to offer the lowest price and create jobs locally. For each product we sell, at an average operation of 50% of the time, this unit can save more than 24 tons of CO2 emissions. It can also save more than $6000 annually of operation cost compared to diesel pumps. Our target is to reach 1000 unit of production capacity and sales in two to three yeas, that is roughly 24,000 tons of CO2 emission saving and $ 6 million of operation costs that will end up in small farmers pockets as profit.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Growth plan is manifested into two strategies; local strategy and international strategy. Locally, the company will hire skilled workforce part-time at the launching phase, then full-time once things start rolling. Sun City will design, produce and assemble final products in-house and grow the production capacity gradually based on market demand and sales forecasts. Simultaneously to our production activities in Egypt, we plan to launch our product in some African countries that have similar needs and market characteristics through building partnership with my interested entrepreneurs network.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Based on our initial business model, we use the value pricing model; 25% profit margin is calculated in our pricing. We have one channel of revenue that generate profit from the wholesales of our product after covering the production costs. The second future stream of revenue is going to be selling the know-how of building and manufacturing our product to potential partners outside Egypt.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are no similar products in the market. We have two competitors, diesel pumps and electric pumps connected to the grid. Electric pumps have a very small Shakespeare due to technical and administrative difficulty as well as in accessibility of connecting these pumps to the grid. Conventional diesel pumps are the only major competitors, however it is losing the favorable advantage of subsidized fuel prices and farmers are looking for more cost-effective solutions. Taking into consideration operating cost our product is going to be cheaper on the long term, especially if shared by farmers.
Team

Founding Story

The inspiration sparked during my third semester of my master's program of sustainable development. My passion to support people at the base of the pyramid in a sustainable manner met my entrepreneurial spirit under the scientific knowledge of renewable energy in my study. The idea moved from theory to implementation when I started to put the technical design and blue print of the prototype. In May 2015 I officially launched my venture as LLC and started building the 1st prototype.

Team

The founding team has the both the technical skill and the business skills to turn this innovative idea into a successful business. Ahmed Abbas, is a graduate student of sustainable development and possess a track record of manufacturing expertise. He is a certified person to design and install solar photovoltaics systems as well as solar water pumping stations. This serve as the backbone of technical skills needed to run the business. Ahmed will be in charge of passing this technical skills to other team member and ensure reliability performance of all the technical members. In addition to that, he will supervise and control the production process as well as insures quality of the final products. Also, since he is the technical personnel and the owner of this innovation, he will serve the research and development person as well. Moamen is an experienced sales and marketing manager. He has more than 15 years' experience in the field and is well positioned in the local market. Moamen designs, implements and develop marketing and sales plan as well as recruiting and training new sales representatives. Mohamed, the third team member is a former lawyer and a customer service personnel. He will serve as the legal advisor for the company in addition to his role as customer service support. His duties include procurements, shipping and following up orders. Administrative tasks will be the responsibility of Mohamed as he has a quite good experience in this regard.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Opportunity Desk

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Affordable and Clean Energy, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

This is not my first entrepreneurial experience. Since my high school I was part of several small trail to do business. I started by a small rabbits farm in our old house, then started a big poultry farm that grew thousands of birds. In 2009 I started a partnership with couple of my friends to distribute cosmetics in Upper Egypt. I was managing this business on daily basis and doing several function as we had a small team. This venture was very successful and we managed to grew both on size and revenue. However, after the Egyptian revolution in 2011 we were forced to close the business like many other companies due to the turmoil that has impact the economy and security severely.
In my family, I raised hundreds on Egyptian Pounds that I invests in real estate, partnerships, and some other activities. I receive a percentage over the profit at the end of the investment. This has been very successful to this moment. During my comprehensive entrepreneurial trial of MultiBueaty for cosmetic wholesales and distribution. I saw an opportunity in the local market in my city in this business as there were no wholesalers locally. I partnered with couple of my friends, one of them with experience in the field. During this experience I was doing several functions at the same time. My roles included crafting the marketing plan, secure stock through companies and major wholesalers, followup the sales team, control the accounting records and managing the overall activities. This experience have contributed a lot to what I'm now; I learned how and what it takes to transfer plans into implementation, challenges of the real market, and complications of managing people.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

I have couple of academic, technical and personal mentors who provide consistent advice both on the technical and personal levels. On the personal level, Michael Johanson in the USA, is my life mentor who I refer to occasionally and seek his support. Technically, I get back to several people in my network that has grown tremendously through more than 10 years of professional work and travel. This network encompass people in the USA whom I met during my Fulbright fellowship, people in my current university, people in my previous work and others.