What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)
Access to talent, Access to supply chains, Access to technology, Access to economic opportunity.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
We have taught Circuits and Solar twice in Guatemala. We now have a waiting list for January 2013. However 95% of the students who signed up for the class were young men. We surveyed school administrators, students and potential girl students. We found that Mayan girl students don't take technical classes with boy students. The Mayan girls have a strong interest in learning about solar power and they suggested starting a women's solar power cooperative.
So far we have helped to install hundreds of solar power systems in homes that lack electricity and we have installed larger scale solar power systems at schools around the world.
ATC has purchased solar equipment for 4-6 commercial installations and we have a minimum of 24 small scale solar power systems for residential installations. These projects will help the Women's Solar Power Cooperative demonstrate the value of solar power and help them start their business. ATC will work with the co-op for a minimum of 5 years.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
In one year our Mayan girl students will have installed a minimum of 24 residential scale solar power systems and at least two commercial scale systems. Business students from the University of Michigan will have helped design a business plan for the "Mayan Power and Light" cooperative and Mayan students will be learning the business of selling and installing solar power and light solutions.
ATC will continually update the curriculum and the technology so that our team(s) will continue to be competetive.
Year 2 - 3: ATC will have expanded the program to both Matagalpa, Nicaragua and the Managua Nicaragua City Dump where we work with "rag pickers" to create business opportunities. We will also have expanded this program into Kenya and Camaroon where we have NGO partners.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
The final success of this project depends on creating a sustainable business plan that supports "Mayan Power and Light", an all woman solar power cooperative - and the cooperative has to be successful within the existing marketplace.
To overcome the barriers to success ATC will incubate Mayan Power and Light for a 5 year period. We will take primary responsibility for finding work for the cooperative and helping structure the business, but by the end of 5 years the cooperative will have to stand on its own merit.
University of Michigan Business students (also Kellogg School of Management students) have expressed a strong desire to help ATC and the Mayan Power and Light cooperative create a business plan that addresses existing and potential future markets.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone