| SEDCO NEWS- Africa Mini-Grids project |
SEDCO is currently in the initial phase of implementing the Africa Mini-Grid Project in partnership with the Eswatini Energy Regulatory Authority (ESERA). The project’s primary objective is to increase the demand for renewable energy in the Emvundla and Ebulimeni communities by establishing new businesses that can leverage the power generated from the mini-grids.
The project rollout commenced with team introductions to the communities. An opportunity analysis was conducted to identify business prospects that could utilize the grid in both Mvundla and Ebulimeni communities. In Mvundla community, the top projects identified included maize milling, sewing, welding, salon, and a bakery. Similarly, in Ebulimeni community, several business opportunities were identified, including retail shops, maize milling, a bar, salon, sewing business, a pharmacy, butchery, and a hardware shop.
These business prospects were identified based on the unmet needs and pain points of the communities, readily available economic resources, and skills and knowledge that the community would bring to the table.
SEDCO further identified potential entrepreneurs in Mvundla and Ebulimeni. 27 entrepreneurs were identified in Mvundla and 35 in Ebulimeni.
To assess their potential, SEDCO conducted a capacity gap analysis which revealed competency gaps in several areas such as entrepreneurship and business management, business planning, loan management, financial literacy, costing and pricing, bookkeeping, market targeting, research and acquisition, marketing and customer care, and business formation and governance.
Moving forward, SEDCO will conduct feasibility and viability studies for the proposed enterprises in the next stages of the project.