Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has sponsored the second GSBI’s Boost Social Enterprise Capacity Development Program held in Lagos, Nigeria. The two day event was held at Wenovation Hub Ikeja for 17 Nigerian businesses in the clean stove sub sector. It is aimed at enabling participating enterprises have the strategies and materials to grow their enterprise in a financially sustainable manner and apply for funding and capacity building programs they need to reach the next level of growth.
For the very first time, this years’ Boost program which was in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, Nigerian Alliance for Cookstove and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, will be giving out grants to three of the participating enterprises. At the end of the program, each of the 17 enterprises submitted a growth and funding plan and made a 10 minutes funding pitch. Six of the best 17 presentations will be selected for due diligence and three of the six will received a Small Catalytic grant to further take their clean cook stove business to the next level.
Among organizations that took part in the 2017 Boost program are Nenu Stoves, Musa Raymond Enterprises, Deva Access and Empowerment Int’l , Solar Sisters, Eviromedic, Quaintas Renewable Energy Solutions, Auralix Solutions, Roshan Global Services and Green Bank
The Boost program is an initiative of the Global Social Benefits Institute of the Santa Clara University, California, USA. The Global Social Benefits Institute (GSBI) Programs serve social entrepreneurs around the world who are developing innovative solutions that provide a sustainable path out of poverty. GSBI Boost packs core business lessons into a powerful 3-2 day workshop. The program helps local, early-stage social entrepreneurs learn business fundamentals, improve their strategic thinking, and articulate a business plan that demonstrates impact, growth, and long-term financial sustainability.
GSBI Boost was piloted in 2014 with support from eBay Foundation and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Participating enterprises gain Stronger business model, Viable growth plan, Executive summary business presentation and Valuable connections.
Answering questions during the during the program, Mr. Amit Anthony Alex, said that the Boost program have graduated over 289 social enterprises in 14 boost programs around the World since 2014 when it started. According to him, the project has strong potentials for Nigeria which presently has over 113 million in poverty and energy poverty on the rise.
Besides the Boost program, Shell Nigeria is strongly into capacity development for local businesses. Among its very successful programs that has benefit entrepreneurs across Nigeria is the Shell Livewire. Some of the participants in the Boost program are past graduates and beneficiaries of the Livewire program. One of them, Auralix Solutions, mentioned that without the Livewire program their business dream will not have taken off the ground.
Shell LiveWIRE is a social investment programme that aims to help young Nigerians explore the option of starting their own business as a real and viable career option. It provides support, access to training, guidance, finance and business mentorship to young entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35.
The first Nigerian boost program was held in 2015 under the auspices of the Nigeria Cookstove Alliance and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. For this year’s program, 51 organizations applied out of which 17 were selected. The organizers explained the 14 participating organizations that will not received the Small Catalytic grant may be offered business mentoring to help achieve their business goals.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership hosted by the UN Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The Alliance’s 100 by ‘20 goal calls for 100 million households to gain access to clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. “We are working with a strong network of public, private and non-profit partners to accelerate the production, deployment, and use of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels in developing countries”, the alliance said.
The Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public private partnership that seeks to deliver 10 million clean cookstoves to Nigerian homes and institutions by 2020.
The Alliance works with public, private, and non-profit partners to scale up access to clean cookstoves in Nigeria by developing innovative financing mechanisms so that Nigerians can afford to buy a clean cookstove and support quality assurance and standards by working with research centres, stove companies and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria to ensure that only high quality clean stoves are certified for the Nigerian market
Meanwhile, the Co-Founder of Wenovation Hub and the Boost Program Facilitator, Mr. Wole Odetayo, on behalf of Wenovation Consulting has offered all the 17 participating enterprises a three weeks free mentoring and business growth plan development assistance.
Chimaobi J. Agwu