SESA Call for Social Entrepreneurs

Four African solutions selected for "SESA Call for Entrepreneurs 2022": Boosting access to renewable energy

The open and competitive call for small and medium-sized enterprises focused on Productive Use of Energy solutions in Ghana, Malawi, Morocco, and South Africa.
Hier klicken

On behalf of Smart Energy Solutions for Africa (SESA) consortium, Siemens Stiftung executed the “Call for Entrepreneurs 2022” to boost accessibility to affordable renewable energy in Africa. The inaugural call for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) focused on Productive Use of Energy (PUE) solutions in Ghana, Malawi, Morocco, and South Africa. The sectors under PUE included: energy efficient appliances, renewable energy, biomass, and ICT. A SESA jury selected four innovative solutions from close to 100 applications based on their replication potential. Women-led enterprises were particularly encouraged to apply, resulting in over 30% of the total applications coming from female founders.

The selected companies will join the SESA Incubator Programme with the aim of validating selected proof of technology concepts and business models linked to the SESA living labs.


Meet the selected enterprises:  

Econexus Ventures Limited Ghana

More than 800 million people in Africa still lack access to clean cooking solutions, making it a major energy challenge. Co-founded by a female entrepreneur Patience Alifo in 2019, Econexus aims to become the region’s climate-smart social enterprise by providing clean cooking solutions through waste-to-energy bioethanol production. In collaboration with SESA partner AAMUSTED, Econexus will test local manufacturing of cookstoves and seek to validate its business model in public schools in Ghana. 

The enterprise provides affordable, reliable, and clean-burning bioethanol and cookstoves to gradually replace polluting cooking fuels and stoves.
© Econexus

Nastech Power Solutions
Kumasi, Ghana  

Founded by Samuel Asare in 2018, Nastech combats Ghana’s massive electronic waste issue by recycling electronic waste materials to develop an affordable solar power alternative.  Through their solution, they address GHG emissions, environmental pollution, and health challenges.  As part of the SESA Incubator Programme and SESA Living Lab Ghana, Nastech will test and validate the circular economy approach and test new customer segments such as secondary schools in two districts in Ghana. 

The enterprise provides affordable, reliable, and sustainable solar energy solutions to businesses and communities in Ghana and other African countries.
© Nastech

Smart Energy Enterprise (SEE)
Karonga, Malawi

85% of smallholder farmers in Malawi remain largely dependent on rainfed agriculture that is prone to drought and lacks access to affordable irrigation systems. Founded by Gift Mwangairo in 2017, SEE provides solar powered irrigation lsystems to smallholder farmers on loan basis. 

Within the SESA Incubator Programme, SEE will provide the relevant technological solutions, expertise and support to test and validate the replication potential of his business model and technological solution in Northern Malawi. 


The social enterprise offers solar-powered irrigation systems, customised advisory services and access to markets for smallholder farmers. 
© Smart Energy Enterprise (SEE)

GREEN Solar Academy
Johannesburg, South Africa 

GREEN Solar Academy is a female-founded enterprise led by Antje Klauss-VorreiterGreen Solar Academy will collaborate with SESA partner uYilo E-Mobility Programme of the Nelson Mandela University to test and validate a containerized off-grid renewable energy system in Alicedale, Eastern Cape to improve affordability and access to energy solutions for rural communities.

The enterprise is an independent training provider of solar PV systems, envisioning to make renewable energy accessible for all Africans.
©GREEN Solar Academy

The four selected enterprises have received sub-contracts ranging from  €50,000 up to €70,000 (service agreements) per business over 18 months, with the aim of validating selected proof of concepts and business models for up-scaling. As a part of the SESA Incubator Programme they will receive mentoring and tailored growth support and capacity-building programmes to prepare them for follow-on funding and to strengthen the financial sustainability of their enterprises. 

The EU funded SESA project aims at ensuring a high level of applicability, replicability, adaptation, and scalability of the selected business solutions. Under its overarching vision of energy access for all, the enterprises seek to enable economic growth along with creating jobs and contributing to low-carbon development.  

The SESA project will run for 48 months from October 2021 to September 2025 and is based on a strong partnership between leading African and European universities, research centers, industry players, local governments, knowledge and implementation organizations and networks. The consortium is funded by the HORIZON2020 program of the European Commission.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101037141. This material reflects only the views of the Con-sortium, and the EC cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information in it.

Project contact person Siemens Stiftung
Elisabeth Biber

+49 8954 0487 304