solar energy business plan

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Solar energy business plan dissertation contents page layout

Solar energy business plan

Investment in the hydropower, factories, projects, etc is a long term return. Realizing all of these problem, establishment of more Solar Companies is essential in Nepal. The market is growing up as well. At present Solar business in Nepal is like a hot cake. More number of solar companies providing efficient solar PV system is to be established to solve the present problems. So with these objective, this venture is proposed. It provides back up system in the present load shedding problems with minimum investment and long run benefit.

It is situated at pulchowk, Lalitpur. The company will start its business from installation of Solar home system and expand its business to total solar solution in future. Management Team SEC will have six key personals in the company who are the co-owners and also designated officers of the company. They are: 1. They are from different location with their own culture environmental and religious backgrounds which will enhance our team work.

Our company deals with all parts of solar components and we basically serve solar facilities from survey to installation. SEC focuses on present load shedding crisis and promotion of green energy in our country. Our service will work out on installation and maintenance of solar energy mainly on urban area.

Promoting renewable energy our company will limit the uses of non renewable energy which will be environmental friendly. Offices and apartments are also among our customers. Kathmandu valley uses most of the electrical energy in Nepal.

Due to load shedding problem, people are rundown from their social and professional life. This problem will be solved by our product and services. Our targeted customers have knowledge about solar energy and its benefits. Besides Kathmandu valley, we intended to expand our services outside the valley in near future.

Competition and marketing Strategy There are around 60 companies which are directly and indirectly related to our business. Among them 30 companies focus toward rural areas and associated with government, so they are not head to head competitors. The remaining are companies which focuses on large organization and residents in the urban. Since our company will be in large scale, we will adopt cost leadership marketing strategy. To promote our company different media like Advertisement media, newspapers, Business magazines and Internet will be used.

Our company will provide flexible service to our customers in financial context by providing installment facilities. Since our company will provide small to large scale solar power installation, it will attract more customers with different potential. The amount includes administration, overhead, marketing costs and also meet short term working capital needs. The capital will be generated by equity of each of partners. The breakeven point is obtained at units for the starting year. Mission statement The mission of Solar Energy Company Private Limited is to increase the quality of life of people of urban areas by eliminating the problems created by load shedding.

For this, SEC provides high tech, high quality green energy alternative to home or office use. Stage of growth : The solar electrification companies of Nepal at present are at an infant stage. It is in introductory stage but consciousness as well as needs of people is increasing at a good rate and the existing companies are getting popular among upper class of residents.

We think at this rate, the popularity and the use of renewable energy will increase. Our Company SEC is in the start up phase of business. Then we will proceed to large organizations and apartments after getting publicity. After covering our initial market, we are likely to attract the customers outside the valley. Besides we are planning to expand our firm that deals only with parts of solar products.

Company Goals and Objectives Goal: Our goal is to become the number one company in solar electricity business. Registration of the Company According to the Company Act This company is a partnership form of organization consisting of six members as partners. All the rules and regulations according to the general partnership organization are strictly followed. The company will be registered under the act of Small Scale Industry and is dedicated to fulfill all the rules, regulation and norms of the governing laws and rules.

Hence, the registration fees that should be deposited is Rs Apart from registration, the company is bounded by various other laws and regulations under the Company Act in terms of operation too. The company vows to abide by these laws and ensure that operation is in accordance to them and no breach occurs. Industry analysis 1 Industry background and overview The first commercial renewable energy company of Nepal was lotus energy founded on Till now there are about 60 companies which deal with solar energy.

But among them, about 30 companies work to provide energy to rural areas only and they are prequalified by Alternative Energy promotion centre AEPC , Khumaltar, Lalitpur. They are NGOs and are funded by various rural development projects. The remaining also take rural areas as their primary target but they deal with urban areas as well. We are the company to take the urban areas as the primary consumers and this can be a real opportunity.

The demand for green alternative energy in urban is constantly increasing as people are having a hard time coping with the problems caused by load shedding crisis. To tackle the load shedding crisis, there are companies which are providing other forms of solutions such as generator services and inverter services. For these solutions, the consumer must spend constantly on running costs such as cost for fuels and maintenance. Due to this high running cost, people in urban areas want something that is hassle free, and cheaper in long term.

So they will be attracted to our services. None of the existing companies focuses on urban areas and hence they are untapped opportunities. This shows that this rate will increase once people are aware of the availability of such systems. Moreover, the main reason for people not being attracted to solar systems is due to the initial high cost. From our installment provision, people will not be burdened by initial high cost and hence sales will increase.

People need other sources of energy to do their jobs as well as for recreation. Also, load shedding problem is forecasted to continue and grow till the next 10 years. So sooner or later, people will search for alternative sources. Once they install the system, they get energy for their lifetime without having to pay any penny. PV modules generate electricity directly from sunlight and their operation is completely noise and pollution free.

Because they have no moving parts to wear and tear, they will provide reliable power for decades. Similarly, such types of laws are being discussed to be applied in Nepal. This process might be completed in the coming few years. So after few years, demand for our products will increase rapidly. Desired Image and Position in the Market We would like to stand out in the solar market through our service and product reliability. We want to create an image of a company which provides green energy at cheap and easy installment facility.

Competitive Strategy The type of strategy we employ to create a market share for our company is focus strategy. We will focus on the class of people who need electricity for their daily works, the class of people who are having a really hard time to deal with the current load shedding problems. By the time competition grows, we will have enough market shares and a distinct brand image.

To attract such customers we will engage in advertisement campaigns which will educate people to use green solar energy, campaigns which will explain the long term benefits of using our systems than using generators. Company product and services A. Description 1. For this category of products, we will first survey the site and then calculate the required power and its cost. The requirement of different customers may vary. We will provide PV cells from Shell-Solar, the largest manufacturer of solar panels in the world.

The rating of such panels will vary from 20watts-peak to watts-peak. Installment of solar panels only for customers From our survey, we have found that about five percent of total population in valley has been using inverters.

Customer with this category would need solar panel only. Hence we will install particular solar panel that will match with their system. Warranties and Guarantees For the first two years following your PV system installation, Solar energy provides you a full installation warranty. During the period, Solar Energy will provide regular site visits for cleaning and maintenance of the system, and also field any other support issues. The company shall provide its customers with guaranties and warranties for every component.

Failure of any guaranteed component will be repaired or replaced immediately on request any physical hampers will not be repaired. Free Energy Audit Our process begins with a free energy audit of your building, whether it is a small residential home, or a large commercial complex. A member of our engineering staff will evaluate each and every electricity consuming device in your building and also go through your past electricity bills to determine how much electricity you need on average during a given day.

We will also ask you to prioritize the appliance usage in terms of how critically do you need them during load-shedding hours B. Patent or trademark protection SEC will be register under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce as a service oriented business. It will be a registered as a partnership company in Lalitpur Municipality. SEC will be legally approved after its registration and imitation of our trademark will be punishable as per the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Description of Service process SPL believes in promoting green energy as well as increasing solar users. SEC creates opportunities for customer to get benefits of solar energy in appropriate costs. Contact In order to get our service, one needs to contact in our office. Our advertisement means shall help our customers to get details of offices.

Selection of services Our web page, www. The customers can also search the product description and warranty we provide. They can be updated with services we provide through our web page. The customers can select the types of the service they want. Pricing Pricing of the services will be mentioned in both in Nepalese as well as US Dollar in our webpage.

For convenience customer can directly contact in our office. Customer have to make fifty percent down payment at first after installation then customer shall pay in installment basis with interest to finance company. Future Service offerings: We are planning for adding the services which will target offices and small hotels. Every year thousands of Nepalese are attracted toward particularly solar energy in the middle of alternatives energy sources.

They want to serve by solar energy to get relieve from load shedding and electricity crisis. Lists of Electronics Equipments 1. CFLs Tube Lights 2. Computer 3. Laptops 4. Mobile Chargers 5. According to our market survey, most of our targeted customers are familiar with solar power installation and their benefits. Majority of customers have positive thinking towards our business idea. We have summarized some factors which help to motivate the customers to use our services.

Better alternative source of energy In the long run, solar electricity is cheaper than buying it from the power company. There is a start up cost, but then it starts paying for itself. Once you break even, everything after that is profit. Giving customer what they want There is a huge variety of solar panel systems available.

Some can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and some cost just a couple hundred. This means customer can get into solar, with their respective financial effort. Environmental aspects: Solar Energy is clean, renewable unlike gas, oil and coal and sustainable, helping to protect our environment.

Market Size and Trends 1 How large is the market? Solar energy market in Nepal is in growing stage. The location of the company is in Pulchowk, Lalitpur which shares major part of population. Since it is capital city, most of the people are familiar with benefits of solar energy. This location shares major targeted customer which will be beneficial for our service. Targeted customers have started to use these types of services in Kathmandu valley.

There are few companies who are directly related to our services. We are the competitors in this market. Customers preferring solar energy are increasing day by day. Due to its advantages, people are more likely to have solar energy in their house and offices.

Since our targeted customers are familiar with solar energy and its merits, it is more liable to increase in market. Hence our targeted market is in growing stage. Advertising and Promotion The advertisement is depending upon the target customers; where are they? How should we communicate with them?

SEC is going to answer these questions with the effective advertisement and promotion techniques. This section includes a description of all advertising means and medium we are planning to use as well as public relations program and promotional materials such as brochures. Media to be used We are planning to use two types of Advertisement; viz.

At the time I still had some money saved up from my mortgage days but decided to do everything on a shoestring budget. The first thing I had to do was to learn the basics of how the solar industry works. Proposal - A solar company designs a solar system based on the electricity usage that a homeowner or business has used in the past 12 months. Permit design plans - Once the client has signed an agreement to purchase a solar system or a program to buy the electricity the system produces , then design and permit plans are created by an engineer.

Permits - These plans are then submitted to the local city or county to get building permits issued. Utility approval - the last step is to submit for approval to the local utility company to get attached to the electrical grid. This allows the client to sell their excess electricity back to the utility company. Their account representative was a really nice guy who helped me a lot. He set me up to be able to purchase solar equipment from them, and by referred me to a good installation subcontractor and a permit runner who submits permits.

This gave me the basic contacts that I needed but I was far from ready to do any serious business. Launched in , I spent the first couple of months trying to figure out how to market solar to homeowners and how to get access to the type of financing that we would need in order to finance solar systems for homeowners.

A residential solar system can cost anywhere from K, so without being able to offer good financing or programs, you have zero chance of being successful. My days in the mortgage industry gave me lots of marketing and sales experience and I quickly came up with a clever direct mail solar marketing campaign, that revolves around selling lower-cost energy, as opposed to selling solar.

We started testing out the marketing campaign and we quickly started setting appointments with potential clients. I cold-called every finance company that I knew, but all turned me down for being a new company. While there I managed to get 5 minutes with the CFO of my equipment distributor. Since I had nothing to lose, I started pitching him my solar marketing campaign about focusing on selling lower-cost energy.

Right in the middle of a crowded convention, I started reciting our sales script word for word, from start to finish. An hour later I was introduced to a VP from one of the major industry finance companies, and I went through my whole sales marketing pitch, again word by word. He was also impressed and offered for them to become our finance partner right on the spot.

Ironically enough, this company had turned me down just a week earlier when I cold-called them. Donation-based funding is a way to raise money by asking a large group of people to donate, with no financial return to investors or contributors.

Building a website is imperative when launching your business, and with the right tools in place, this can be a simple task to check off the list without having to hire someone. To learn more about how to build a stellar website with little stress, we give you all the details on this step-by-step guide.

Once you have chosen the domain, web hosting, and platform, it's time to get started with the design phase. Themes are a great way to produce the fundamental style and identity of your website - this includes everything from your font design to your blog post styles. One of the best ways to get started is to simply explore the various themes free or paid depending on what you're looking for and test them on your site. If web-design really isn't in the cards for you, you may want to consider outsourcing a web designer to help bring your vision and brand to life.

David Gomez, founder of Clean Energy Solutions dives deep into the process of launching the business:. After testing out our marketing campaign and locking up a finance partner, we were ready to launch,. We set appointments, answered the phones, sold systems, and processed paperwork with just two people.

Targeting Orange County, the direct mail campaign and sales script worked so well that we were immediately setting sales appointments per day, and we had to bring in a couple of seasoned veteran solar sales reps to handle the volume. Since we started on a shoestring budget, we waited until we actually had production, before starting to hire staff. As we grew, we quickly had to scramble and hire more appointment setters, permit runners, operations personnel, and installation crews.

The more buzz around your brand - the more the phones ring, the more traffic to your website, and the more customers as a result. Press releases are a great way to share big announcements or news, but in order to get any traction, you'll need to find a way to make your press release stand out amongst others.

Try to convey a story that really matters, not just to you, but to the reporter and to their audience. Email is one of the most effective and preferred way to send your press release, so as long as you keep your pitch brief, interesting and personalized no cold emails , you should stand a chance! HARO, otherwise known as "Help a Reporter Out" is an outlet for journalists to source upcoming stories and opportunities for media coverage. The best part is, HARO is free to use! There are, of course, premium versions you can purchase, but the free version is still an accessible way to get press.

Once you set up an account, HARO essentially will email you based on stories that are relevant to you that need to be covered where you will then have a chance to essentially "bid on the story. Planning a publicity stunt is an effective and quick way to raise awareness for your brand and gain some traction from the press. If you're looking to plan a stunt, the objective should be to be bold and create something memorable.

However, being bold has a fine line - it's important that you consider the timing of your stunt to ensure you don't come off insensitive or unethical. For example, timing may not be in your favor if you plan something during the general election, or in most recent cases, a global pandemic. In order to measure the success of your stunt, it's important that you first determine your end goal, for example:.

To learn other strategies on how to get press, check out our full guide here. SEO is not just about driving traffic to your site, it's about driving the RIGHT traffic to your site , and ultimately, converting leads into customers. One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding what your customers are searching for, otherwise known as "keyword research.

Finding keywords is an important piece of the puzzle, but Google also ranks your site based on the actual content you produce, as this is what your customers are reading and engaging with. There are various different "forms" of content that you may want to consider diversifying on your sites, such as blog posts, articles, studies, and videos.

If and hopefully you are publishing content frequently, it's important to stick to a schedule - this helps build brand trust and easy user experience with your customers. Backlinks are an important piece to SEO, as they allow for other websites to link to your content. Search engines recognize that other sites are essentially "verifying" your content and essentially rank you higher because of this.

For example, if a highly valuable and credible site like the New York Times links to a page on your website, this could be remarkable from an SEO perspective. Aside from organically getting mentioned from other sites, there are other ways that you can increase and earn backlinks:. One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and grow your business is through consistently blogging. Consistency is as simple as committing to publishing and sharing a certain number of posts per week.

This kind of commitment is key, because one day, a random post will blow up, and you will have never expected it. For every person that tells you you are posting too much, there is another person that wants even more of your content. Keep posting, keep trying, and keep putting out good content on the regular. Your time will come, and when it does, it will change everything.

So the only metric you should focus on is how much content you can put out in a week, month, etc. I know it sounds obvious, but the best places to share your content is on your mailing list. It is guaranteed traffic and it is a great way to get rapid feedback from your most loyal readers. Send newsletters often. Work on increasing your mailing list as well. Look into ways to increase your conversion rate to your mailing list. An email newsletter is one of the most powerful assets you can have and it is worth its weight in gold.

It is a very scary place because you will often get banned or heckled, but it can really pay off. Set up Buffer and share all of your blog posts to all of your accounts. All of these little shares really do add up. When I started out, I put together a spreadsheet of relevant Facebook groups for my niche, and I would post to these groups whenever I had a big story I wanted to share.

Social Media Advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to solar energy business. There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you. Starting a solar energy business is all about building relationships and becoming an integral part of your community.

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking they can do everything on their own. In reality, other businesses even your competition and members of your community can be a huge piece of your growth strategy. When forming any type of partnership, a lot of energy and time can go into this.

To ensure it's worth your while, dive deep into the vetting process and ask yourself and them the following questions:. Once you have an idea as to what the ideal partnership agreement looks like, that's when the outreach begins the hardest part! Forming partnerships and building relationships within your community can be a very valuable tool, but it's important that you do your due diligence and avoid going in blind to any sort of partnership.

This can save you months, if not years of time. Mike Aspinall, founder of The Crafty Gentlemen discusses how brand partnerships are the most important part of his growth strategy and revenue stream:. My main revenue stream is sponsored brand partnerships, whereby a company pays me a fee to feature their product within one of my blog posts. For a long time, I was hesitant to charge for my work — I was happy to work in exchange for products. But there came a point where I was being offered more work than I could have said yes to — something had to change.

So I started to charge for partnerships. And brands agreed, no questions asked! The last months have been the most successful yet for my business. My website traffic is at an all-time high, and growing — as are my social media followings:. Pay-per-click PPC is a performance-based marketing method that allows you to show specific ads for services or products oriented to a very defined target, with the goal that the user visits your website or landing page.

PPC advertising can be a very important lead generator as long as it's done properly. Your PPC campaign is intended to drive traffic to your website and help the business scale. Additionally, if the campaign is not having the desired results, you can make the necessary changes immediately to improve them.

It did not take long to come to the realization that to compete at any reasonable level, we were going to need to take the plunge and invest in Pay Per Click ads and display. Google Shopping was an entirely new concept for me. Then I found some good reading material and courses and learned of some advanced methods that the pros are using. The more engaged list of emails, the more engaged customers, which ultimately leads to more sales.

One of the best ways to start growing your list is by providing your customer with something free or discounted in return. Dylan Jacob, founder of Brumate states their email collection tactic that is proven to work:. We use Spin-a-Sale for this you spin a wheel for a discount code in exchange for subscribing to our email list. This has been the best email-collecting tool we have found because the customer truly feels like they won a prize rather than just a coupon code.

A great way to double, or even triple, your email opt-in rate and to grow your list is to add an exit-intent popup to your site, and offering a discount or content upgrade for subscribers. One thing that I spent years NOT doing, that I now kick myself about, is adding an "exit intent pop-up" to our site, which lets people enter a sweepstakes to win a Xero Shoes gift certificate.

That one idea has added over , subscribers to our email list, which is one of our most effective marketing channels. Here are the most common types of email campaigns you can send to your customers and their benefits:. Here's a great resource for finding curated email designs, for all types of email campaigns! The abandoned cart workflow is one of the most effective strategies for turning your lead into a customer, and a powerful tool to have if you're an e-commerce business.

Think about all the times that you went on a shopping frenzy only to add items to your cart and then either forget or realize nows not the right time to pull the trigger. Then, minutes later you receive an email saying "Hurry up! Implementing this workflow can automatically trigger this for your business every time a customer abandons their cart.

Here's a great example of an abandoned cart email from Brooklinen :. Oftentimes, it's easy to find yourself focusing on generating new customers, vs retaining your current ones. That's not to say that finding new customers and revenue streams is not important, however, the easiest and most inexpensive source of new revenue is right there in front of you.

David Gomez, founder of Clean Energy Solutions dives deep into the process of attracting and retaining customers:. After about a year of doing direct mail marketing, we realized that there was a ceiling for the amount of business we could do using this type of marketing. Appointment sales restricted the area that we could market to because it required our sales reps to drive to appointments. A rep can only cover a few hours by car at the most in one day.

The solution was to start doing the whole sales process by phone from start to finish. This would give us an almost unlimited reach since we no longer had to meet the client in person. It took time to develop, but in we opened up our own call center and today more than half of our production comes from deals closed by phone. Much like our direct mail campaigns, sales scripts play a huge part in how any solar program is presented to a potential client. These scripts are always evolving as we roll out new campaigns.

Doing the sales processes by phone has also allowed us to incorporate social media into our marketing campaigns. Although we were late to using social media for marketing, today we get about half of our call center production from social media. Adding new products to your business is a great way to expand into new markets and grow your business.

It's important to note that adding new products and diversifying may not be in the cards for you right this moment, and that's okay. You can always consider it down the road. Providing exceptional care and creating relationships with clients is a great way to build your reputation and retain customers.

Whether you are an online business or a physical business, it's highly important to communicate with customers and make them feel like they are the priority. Sure we sacrificed sales, but we kept our integrity, played the long game and people saw and appreciated that, and really began emotionally investing in the brand.

The most tried and true way to grow a solar energy business is through word of mouth - some entrepreneurs would say it's more important than all social media. You may find yourself in a spot where you're ready to hire a few or many salespeople to support the sales conversion process.

Regardless if you have one or thirty salespeople, it's critical that you assign them specific roles and responsibilities to nurture the client and provide excellent support. Mike Korba, co-founder of User. Com walks us through the entire sales process and which teams are responsible for what:. Each user and account is qualified with a specialist. For business leads, they are handled by the sales team, and if they are qualified we give them a demo, more than often at the end of their fourteen-day trial.

Sometimes, users will convert naturally on their own, after using the freemium product and finding it to be something that they will find beneficial. After they convert, we help with onboarding , give them some personalized tips for their specific business or industry to grow plus all kinds of support, for whatever they need - something we take huge pride in. The team is right now more than 30 people, with more than half working on the IT and product side, and the rest are in three teams: Support, Marketing, and Sales who all work together very closely.

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business and acquire new customers. A great way to do that is by offering a reward ie. A fantastic referral program will help with clout, credibility, and establishing yourself in the space. Join our newsletter and receive our handcrafted recap with the best insights shared by founders in Starter Story each week. Using Klaviyo will open up a massive, untapped sales channel and bring you closer to your customers!

We've interviewed many impressive businesses who swear by the results of the product, including Brumate , Beardbrand , and many more. Level up your email marketing with Klaviyo! Join Starter Story. If you are a human, ignore this field. Start A Solar Energy Business. Want to grow your business? Join the , businesses using.

Cory Stout. David Zamarin. Abby Abhinav Verma. One of my cold calls put me in touch with a local solar equipment distributor, Affordable Solar. Great photography and videography is key, as is smart copy. Make sure you have good offers.

Mike Aspinall, founder of The Crafty Gentlemen discusses how brand partnerships are the most important part of his growth strategy and revenue stream: My main revenue stream is sponsored brand partnerships, whereby a company pays me a fee to feature their product within one of my blog posts.

Dylan Jacob, founder of Brumate states their email collection tactic that is proven to work: We use Spin-a-Sale for this you spin a wheel for a discount code in exchange for subscribing to our email list. There have been many times where we have been tempted to do this but stayed true. Useful, convenient, and free:. Free Looking to start a business? We put together 20 businesses you can start from home.

Join our free weekly newsletter and get them right now. Leave a comment Your email address will not be published. This is a fantastic resource! Thanks for sharing! Become a premium member to get full access. Ready to bring your idea to life? Join Starter Story to get the greatest companion to starting and growing your business.

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Step by step guides on how to start and grow. Learn how to come up with an idea, launch and grow your business with our step by step guides. Your go to resource for diving deeper into the strategies employed by hundreds of successful founders. How to Launch Your Business Successfully.

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Find your next idea - 5, business ideas. Go Premium. Premium Plus. Access to hundreds of successful founders. Go Premium Plus. Check out our FAQ. Rent : This refers to the office space you use for your business and give money to the landlord. To minimize costs, you may want to consider starting your business from home or renting an office in a coworking space.

Utility Costs For Office Space : Utility costs are the expense for all the services you use in your office, including electricity, gas, fuels, telephone, water, sewerage, etc. Although the cost is minimal in most cases, it should be appropriately budgeted for each month! This number depends on if you decide to pay yourself a salary upfront and how many employees you have on payroll. At first, many founders take on all responsibilities until the business is up and running.

You can always hire down the road when you understand where you need help. Other Employee Expenses : Apart from payroll and benefits, there are other hiring employees costs. This includes the cost to advertise the job, the time it takes to interview candidates, and any other turnover that may result from hiring the wrong candidate. Employee Rewards : It's vital to acknowledge and reward workers, whether they hit their goals or do a great job.

This does not have to be costly. In fact, simply taking workers out to a meal or giving a gift or bonus is among the many ways to show how the worker is valued! Technology Office Equipment : This includes but is not limited to physical items such as: laptops, cameras, monitors, microphones, speakers, headsets. Technology needs grow as your company evolves, so to minimize costs, try and only purchase what is needed for you to run your business at the time.

Cleaning Supplies : Cleaning supplies are essential products we used daily at home and in almost all places worldwide. These items are used to effectively and safely remove dirt and germs to control allergens and prevent the spreading of contagious diseases, helping us stay healthy.

First-aid Equipment : For the safety of your team and customers, it's critical you have an adequate first-aid kit on you at all times. Website builder : The cost of your website will vary depending on which platform you choose.

There are many website builders on the market, so it's important you choose the right one for your business and overall goals. Web Design : Web design includes several different aspects, including webpage layout, content creation, and design elements. If you have the skills and knowledge to design your website on your own, then outsourcing this to an expert may not be necessary.

There are plenty of other ways you can design a beautiful website using design tools and software. A Domain Name : Your domain name is the URL and name of your website - this is how internet users find you and your website. Domain names are extremely important and should match your company name and brand. This makes it easier for customers to remember you and return to your website. Email hosting : An email hosting runs a dedicated email server.

Once you have your domain name, you can set up email accounts for each user on your team. The most common email hosts are G suite and Microsoft suite. The number of email accounts you set up will determine the monthly cost breakdown.

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The green energy industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the United States.

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Solar energy business plan Writing a business plan forces solar farm operators to focus on the details of the business, understand the risks, and establish a roadmap for future growth. Net Cash Flows Starting a new business in a fledgling industry can be risky, but the advantage is there is less competition. You will likely have an office space, delivery vehicles, and ongoing training to maintain licenses. Gone are the days of working in a toxic work environment with employees that you may not vibe with.
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To tackle the load shedding crisis, there are companies which are providing other forms of solutions such as generator services and inverter services. For these solutions, the consumer must spend constantly on running costs such as cost for fuels and maintenance. Due to this high running cost, people in urban areas want something that is hassle free, and cheaper in long term. So they will be attracted to our services. None of the existing companies focuses on urban areas and hence they are untapped opportunities.

This shows that this rate will increase once people are aware of the availability of such systems. Moreover, the main reason for people not being attracted to solar systems is due to the initial high cost. From our installment provision, people will not be burdened by initial high cost and hence sales will increase. People need other sources of energy to do their jobs as well as for recreation. Also, load shedding problem is forecasted to continue and grow till the next 10 years.

So sooner or later, people will search for alternative sources. Once they install the system, they get energy for their lifetime without having to pay any penny. PV modules generate electricity directly from sunlight and their operation is completely noise and pollution free.

Because they have no moving parts to wear and tear, they will provide reliable power for decades. Similarly, such types of laws are being discussed to be applied in Nepal. This process might be completed in the coming few years.

So after few years, demand for our products will increase rapidly. Desired Image and Position in the Market We would like to stand out in the solar market through our service and product reliability. We want to create an image of a company which provides green energy at cheap and easy installment facility.

Competitive Strategy The type of strategy we employ to create a market share for our company is focus strategy. We will focus on the class of people who need electricity for their daily works, the class of people who are having a really hard time to deal with the current load shedding problems. By the time competition grows, we will have enough market shares and a distinct brand image. To attract such customers we will engage in advertisement campaigns which will educate people to use green solar energy, campaigns which will explain the long term benefits of using our systems than using generators.

Company product and services A. Description 1. For this category of products, we will first survey the site and then calculate the required power and its cost. The requirement of different customers may vary. We will provide PV cells from Shell-Solar, the largest manufacturer of solar panels in the world. The rating of such panels will vary from 20watts-peak to watts-peak.

Installment of solar panels only for customers From our survey, we have found that about five percent of total population in valley has been using inverters. Customer with this category would need solar panel only. Hence we will install particular solar panel that will match with their system. Warranties and Guarantees For the first two years following your PV system installation, Solar energy provides you a full installation warranty.

During the period, Solar Energy will provide regular site visits for cleaning and maintenance of the system, and also field any other support issues. The company shall provide its customers with guaranties and warranties for every component. Failure of any guaranteed component will be repaired or replaced immediately on request any physical hampers will not be repaired.

Free Energy Audit Our process begins with a free energy audit of your building, whether it is a small residential home, or a large commercial complex. A member of our engineering staff will evaluate each and every electricity consuming device in your building and also go through your past electricity bills to determine how much electricity you need on average during a given day. We will also ask you to prioritize the appliance usage in terms of how critically do you need them during load-shedding hours B.

Patent or trademark protection SEC will be register under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce as a service oriented business. It will be a registered as a partnership company in Lalitpur Municipality. SEC will be legally approved after its registration and imitation of our trademark will be punishable as per the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Description of Service process SPL believes in promoting green energy as well as increasing solar users. SEC creates opportunities for customer to get benefits of solar energy in appropriate costs. Contact In order to get our service, one needs to contact in our office.

Our advertisement means shall help our customers to get details of offices. Selection of services Our web page, www. The customers can also search the product description and warranty we provide. They can be updated with services we provide through our web page. The customers can select the types of the service they want. Pricing Pricing of the services will be mentioned in both in Nepalese as well as US Dollar in our webpage.

For convenience customer can directly contact in our office. Customer have to make fifty percent down payment at first after installation then customer shall pay in installment basis with interest to finance company. Future Service offerings: We are planning for adding the services which will target offices and small hotels. Every year thousands of Nepalese are attracted toward particularly solar energy in the middle of alternatives energy sources.

They want to serve by solar energy to get relieve from load shedding and electricity crisis. Lists of Electronics Equipments 1. CFLs Tube Lights 2. Computer 3. Laptops 4. Mobile Chargers 5. According to our market survey, most of our targeted customers are familiar with solar power installation and their benefits.

Majority of customers have positive thinking towards our business idea. We have summarized some factors which help to motivate the customers to use our services. Better alternative source of energy In the long run, solar electricity is cheaper than buying it from the power company.

There is a start up cost, but then it starts paying for itself. Once you break even, everything after that is profit. Giving customer what they want There is a huge variety of solar panel systems available. Some can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and some cost just a couple hundred. This means customer can get into solar, with their respective financial effort.

Environmental aspects: Solar Energy is clean, renewable unlike gas, oil and coal and sustainable, helping to protect our environment. Market Size and Trends 1 How large is the market? Solar energy market in Nepal is in growing stage. The location of the company is in Pulchowk, Lalitpur which shares major part of population.

Since it is capital city, most of the people are familiar with benefits of solar energy. This location shares major targeted customer which will be beneficial for our service. Targeted customers have started to use these types of services in Kathmandu valley.

There are few companies who are directly related to our services. We are the competitors in this market. Customers preferring solar energy are increasing day by day. Due to its advantages, people are more likely to have solar energy in their house and offices. Since our targeted customers are familiar with solar energy and its merits, it is more liable to increase in market.

Hence our targeted market is in growing stage. Advertising and Promotion The advertisement is depending upon the target customers; where are they? How should we communicate with them? SEC is going to answer these questions with the effective advertisement and promotion techniques. This section includes a description of all advertising means and medium we are planning to use as well as public relations program and promotional materials such as brochures. Media to be used We are planning to use two types of Advertisement; viz.

Offline and Online advertisement. We mainly focused on offline than online advertisement. Offline Promotion: Newspaper: News paper is a good source of communicating with the potential customers, especially of age group 40 years. We will advertise our company service, contacts, features and website in those papers. As our allocation of cost for offline advertisement is high, the advertisement will be weekly or may be monthly. Magazines: Another effective means of advertising for our company is magazines which has wide reach to the target customer.

Magazines offer long life span resulting in good chance of being seen several times. Magazines ads are usually of high quality, resulting in strong visual appeal. We will use business magazine like The Times Nepal, which are more preferred by our customer. Brochure: Our company publishes a brochure annually including all the activities of the company.

Brochure helps to make customer up to date about income and expenses of the company. The report of seminars and interaction programs held in the year is published in it. A strong brochure can be the back bone to reflect the positive feedback from customer for an institution. So we are planning to invest enough capital to publish own brochure. Public Relation: To increase public relation, we will organize program to create awareness about alternative energy.

This type of program will help to raise our company status in public perspective and different media covering the program will help recognition of our company existence. This will also help to make relationship with different professional and expertise of different fields. Promotion through internet: Since our targeted costumers are use to with internet, SEC shall be focusing in advertisement through internet. We will use web page of our company that are cost effective but reach the large number of customer.

Frequency of usage We are mainly focusing in offline advertisement so our company will be updated in news and magazines regularly. News paper will be used weekly and magazines fort nightly. Costs for newspaper and magazines are noted in table below.

Our web page will be updated time to time. Desired Image in the market We will like to see SEC next to leading companies like Lotus in national market and next to some international companies like Solar Shell in few years. We will like to establish a strong brand image by the consistent quality services. As our vision we will always try to deliver value to our customers, employees and to our nation as well.

Existing Competitors 1. Competitive Profile Matrix Major competitors: These competitors are the giants of online shopping in Nepal. Kevin solar solution 2. Swogun Energy PVT. Strengths and Weakness of competitors The major competitors are the established companies. They have established their service image and they have good technology and financial strengths. Potential competitors Solar home installation company is medium scale company. So, there will always be possibility of new competitors.

Our potential competitors will be those who will focus on installation service only in particularly in Kathmandu valley. Some of the potential customers are: Kinetic Energy Pvt. If they plan to target in our customer and location under these circumstances we will lose our potential customer.

As well as, market will saturate before than we estimated. The three partners will jointly share the ownership of the business and they will have equal amount of equity, profitability and all of these members hold equal decision making authority. The partners are responsible for one department and they will make the decisions on their respective department and the major decisions of the company will be jointly discussed.

At the end of the year profit is shared among the three owners of SEC. Form of ownership SEC will be operating as a partnership firm. All the six partners will jointly share the ownership of the business and they will have equal amount of equity, profitability and all of these members hold equal decision making authority. All the partners will be actively involved in the day to day operations of the business.

The partners have the responsibilities in three departments. The main reason for operating as Partnership business is to establish such a business that is strong in financing and management. Six partner viz. Santosh Mandal, Mr. Sanjog Kayastha, Mr. Narayan KC, Mr. Surya Kiran Koirala will jointly invest the equity capital of Rs. The sources of equity financing of the partners will be personal savings and their friends and family members.

All the major decisions of the company must require the consent of each member. The customers can check the condition of the service installed and they can complain if unsatisfied with our work. Financial statement 1. As prosperity builds demand for electricity, RE training centers are being established in the developing world, such as the highly respected Institute for Solar Training in Karagwe.

Furthermore, despite civil wars and social unrest, there are scores of developing countries, like Tanzania, where political stability harbors fantastic economic opportunity. Many experts predict that this global "Energy Revolution" contains the seed that will become the world's premier growth industry of the twenty-first century.

Tanzania is the largest and most peaceful nation in East Africa. The country has demonstrated over 38 years of political stability, and is governed by a multiparty democracy based on English common law. Tanzania has posted an average annual economic growth rate of 3.

Tanzania's GDP is expected to grow at 5 percent annually through Agriculture is the nation's primary industry, accounting for 56 percent of its GDP, and employing over 90 percent of its workforce. Only 24 percent of Tanzania's population live in urban areas, meaning that the country's 32 million people are widely dispersed over an area more than twice the size of California. Between and , demand for electricity in Tanzania grew at an average annual rate of Over 75 percent of Tanzania's electricity consumers are served by hydroelectric power, and the country experiences generation shortfalls during drought conditions.

Almost all of Tanzania's electricity usage is confined to its urban areas. Karagwe is a remote farming community in the northwestern corner of Tanzania, about kilometers from the western shore of Lake Victoria, at a geographic position of two degrees south latitude. The region experiences two dependable rainy seasons per year, and receives an annual average of about five peak sun hours per day, roughly 10 percent more than Denver, Colorado.

About , people, or 60, households, live in this region, which is situated on a wide, sloping ridge at an elevation of 1, meters 5, feet above sea level. The prominence of this ridge above the surrounding plain leaves it exposed to the tropical trade winds, which consistently blow from the west. There are few regions in the world that boast such abundant RE natural resources.

Almost every household in Karagwe is surrounded by a plantation of several hectares, and coffee is the community's chief cash crop. Karagwe is an extremely dispersed village, with , people living in an area of 3, square kilometers. As a result, only 1. The remaining 98 percent have no hope of seeing the grid extended to their homes during the next ten years. Residents of Karagwe realize that modernization cannot take place without electricity, and that access to electricity will significantly enhance their economic prosperity and quality of life.

As a result, it is no surprise that percent of the fifty or so Karagwe residents surveyed during the summer of indicated a strong desire to participate in a financing program that would allow them to afford a solar electric system. Karagwe families live in large houses, typically constructed of brick and concrete.

Each house has three to five bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a washroom, and an animal pen. Families submit no property taxes or mortgage payments. Furthermore, because Karagwe is a farming community, residents spend very little on food, except for the few items, such as rice and fish that must be imported from surrounding districts.

Very few people in this village possess an automobile, and those who do earn three to ten times more than the average yearly income. Aside from a handful of bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and weekly farmers' markets, Karagwe offers very little for the consumer. Because there is not much in this community to spend money on, Karagwe families tend to retain a purchasing power that is greater than half of their annual income.

Nevertheless, due in large part to the inflationary pressures and banking crises that have plagued Tanzania ever since the s, people are generally unfamiliar with the concept of saving money. Only in the past few years have stabilized banks begun to earn the trust of Tanzanian consumers, and in the rural parts of the country, this trend is proceeding quite slowly. Despite these simplistic financial tendencies, the typical Karagwe resident is quite sophisticated, and understands the benefits of solar electricity.

Ghin Patel, is chief of faculty. Because of the international recognition of this school, Karagwe residents know that solar electricity represents a clean, safe, and reliable way to power their homes. As a result, most families continue to light their homes with crude kerosene lamps, and to power their radios with inefficient dry cell batteries.

Nevertheless, the demand for solar electric systems latently exists in Karagwe, and it is up to Abaka to tap this market potential by making these systems affordable for the average Karagwe family. Competing Technologies. Because solar electric systems are so expensive in Karagwe, they are viewed as luxury items.

Almost every family would love to have one, but affordability is a preventative issue. As such, people must use more conventional methods of lighting their homes. Kerosene and dry cell batteries are readily available in Karagwe, but neither item is particularly cheap. Kerosene sells for about fifty cents per liter, and a typical family uses four to six liters per month; many organizations, such as schools and health clinics, use twenty to fifty liters per month.

Some families also own gasoline gensets, while still others own automobile batteries, which they charge with gensets, or at a grid station in the central part of the village. Abaka's chief competition in Karagwe is certainly kerosene and disposable batteries, and solar has several advantages over them. First, kerosene lamps are crude and dangerous; it is easy to find an adult in Karagwe who has been burned, at some point in his or her life, by a kerosene lamp leaking, spilling, or completely exploding.

Furthermore, kerosene lamps provide lighting that is only somewhat better than a large candle, and they tend to be noisy and smelly during operation. Dry cell batteries are expensive because they must be replaced so frequently, and their disposal poses a serious environmental threat. Also, many appliances cannot be powered with batteries.

A solar electric system, on the other hand, is clean and safe, and provides the familiar fluorescent, white light that can illuminate an entire room. Furthermore, a solar electric system can be used to power any electric appliance. It offers modularity, flexibility, and expandability, so that one single power source can be used for the house's every electrical need.

Additionally, these systems are extremely reliable, and require only minimal maintenance on, and periodic replacement of, the battery. If well maintained, a solar electric system will last for thirty years. Solar electric systems are more expensive than conventional alternatives in the short-term, but in the long run provide a far superior value for the money.

Furthermore, there is not a single organization in all of northwestern Tanzania that offers financing for solar electric systems. Furthermore, this company has no understanding of solar electricity, and maintains only a minimal presence in Karagwe. In order to make solar electricity affordable, Abaka will offer families and businesses the option of paying for their system in twelve monthly installments. It is estimated that roughly one-third of Karagwe's households earn this amount or more, meaning that Abaka's primary target market in Karagwe consists of about 19, families.

Financing Terms. Many micro-credit programs have failed in developing communities because customers have been allowed to default on their loans. It can be extremely difficult both logistically and financially to repossess equipment in remote villages of foreign countries. To circumvent this problem, Abaka will offer "pre-financing" plans to its customers. Under the terms of these pre-financing options, customers will have to pay their entire balance before Abaka will give them a system.

There are two reasons why this is necessary in Karagwe. First, people in developing countries often do not understand the concept of credit, and, especially when an American company is the lender, regularly assume that "credit" means "free. People in these communities, Karagwe included, are accustomed to receiving free handouts from the World Bank and industrialized governments.

It is unlikely that Abaka can establish a high-growth, sustainable business in Karagwe if expensive electrical systems are provided, but money is not collected. As such, customers will pay for their systems first, in entirety, before they receive them; no exceptions will be allowed. Because the financing plans will have one-year terms, Abaka must offer customers something while they pay for their electric systems.

This is where the community center will be useful. During the terms of their financing contracts, Abaka's customers will be allowed to utilize all services at this community center free of charge. These privileges will end upon fulfillment of the financing agreement, or if a customer defaults on several payments.

This strategy will allow Abaka to collect money before distributing systems, and will encourage customers to fulfill their financing agreements. Abaka will gladly accept down payments for customers desiring shorter financing terms. Solar Electric Kits. Abaka's solar electric systems will be sized to meet the needs of a typical Karagwe household. Very few Karagwe homes have the need to power anything more extravagant than a few fluorescent lights and a radio, and therefore these systems will be small by Western standards.

Each system will come with a solar panel, a deep-cycle battery, a charge controller, lights, a radio, wiring, connectors, and mounting materials. In order to serve the expected high demand for affordable solar electric systems in Karagwe, all systems will be sold as pre-assembled kits. These kits will be designed to be so simple that end-users will be able to perform the installations themselves.

In this way, Abaka will minimize the size of its technical staff. Initially, there will be three kit sizes offered. The following table presents a spec and price comparison of Abaka's introductory product line. For homes or businesses requiring more power, customized systems will also be available. Furthermore, as the community becomes more prosperous, people will develop more extravagant tastes for electric appliances and equipment, such as television sets, satellite dish receivers, refrigerators, and computers.

Abaka will continuously readjust this product line according to customers' power needs. In addition, attractive trade-in and scale-up plans will be offered to customers in subsequent years, so that smaller systems can be traded in and upgraded to larger ones.

Abaka will price these kits as low as possible while still yielding an attractive profit. Based on Prouffer's experience in Indonesia between and , it is expected that a family living in an impoverished, rural agricultural community will surrender about half of its yearly income for a necessary item such as reliable electricity.

With the pricing strategy that Abaka has adopted, Karagwe consumers will pay less than half of what a comparable solar electric system would cost from a typical African retailer. The community center will be used as Abaka's administrative office and distribution hub. Most of the components of the solar electric kits will be shipped by sea from suppliers in the U.

Abaka will also attempt to identify reliable suppliers in South Africa to reduce its dependence on overseas shipping. Upon arrival in Karagwe, SSEW will be responsible for assembling all components into complete solar electric kits, ready for installation. When customers have satisfied their payment schedules, they will be cordially thanked for their business, and invited to pick up their kits from the community center.

At this time, customers will be given written instructions on how to install and maintain their new systems. During their payment period, and throughout their duration of ownership, all Abaka customers will be invited to attend free educational workshops on using, maintaining, optimizing, and expanding their solar electric systems.

Abaka will rely greatly on publicity and word-of-mouth advertising to promote these financing plans. Residents will be unable to avoid noticing the sheer scale of this project. Over people will be employed in this undertaking, and every newspaper and radio station in the region will publicly monitor its progress. Like many rural agricultural villages, Karagwe is a tight-knit community, and people tend to be extremely social. Abaka will have to do little to instigate excitement and conversation about this project.

Once built, the generating facility, featuring a 10,watt wind turbine perched on an eighty-foot tower, and a 5,watt array of sleek solar panels mounted on a 10,square-foot scaffold, will serve as a constant advertisement of the electricity that Abaka offers. Due to the visibility of this project, Abaka will ensure that high standards of professionalism are maintained at all times.

Embroidered uniforms will be distributed to the SSEW technicians that maintain and operate the community center. New, high-quality equipment will be purchased, and the community center itself will have a clean, modern design. Service will be prompt and courteous, and technicians will be well trained and well paid.

To complement the publicity aspect, Abaka will also post billboards in the heavily trafficked "downtown" area of the Karagwe district. The main purpose of these billboard advertisements will be to inform and remind customers of scheduled educational training sessions and technical demonstrations being held at the community center.

In addition, posters will be used to announce new service offerings or price adjustments, as needed. Finally, professionally printed brochures, featuring concise descriptions of the financing plans offered, as well as general information about solar energy, will be widely distributed. Ghin Patel, the founder and executive officer of SSEW, is a native of Karagwe, and has been installing solar energy systems there for eight years.

Patel's expert reputation is common knowledge in the community. Patel's contacts and stature in Karagwe as a solar energy professional. Because SSEW's name is already well known to the community, customers will be dealing directly with a local company that they trust. A customer service office and reception desk will be established at the community center, and SSEW will collect payments at this location.

Therefore, SSEW will have an incentive to aggressively generate sales by subscribing new customers, in whatever fashion they deem appropriate or effective. Abaka's projected target market in Karagwe is about 19, families. There are 58, families in the region without electricity.

However, these pre-financing plans will be expensive. Furthermore, customers will have to pay all of their monthly installments before receiving any equipment. Abaka recognizes that this will initially dissuade many potential customers. However, the construction of the power station and community center, as well as the partnership with SSEW, will help to reinforce Abaka's trustworthiness, and should neutralize some of these concerns.

In addition, Abaka will allow subscribed customers to use the community center for free during their contract term. This means that customers will be able to enjoy free access to computers, refrigeration, water distilling, coffee bean processing, telecommunications access, and other services, for up to a year. Abaka anticipates subscribing about families in , the first year of operation. After one year, Karagwe residents will witness the delivery of solar electric systems purchased the previous year by their friends, neighbors, and relatives.

The demand for these financing contracts will therefore increase exquisitely over the next five years, as Abaka's trustworthiness becomes confirmed, and its presence accepted, by the community. Furthermore, similar projects in other parts of the world have demonstrated that the availability of energy systems motivates people to increase their income by working harder, and then to save more of that income, in anticipation of having something valuable to buy.

As a result, more Karagwe families will be able and willing to afford Abaka's financing plans over time, and the growth rates built into Abaka's revenue forecasts reflect this expectation. The following table shows sales and revenue forecasts for the years Bim Stiletto, a primary schoolteacher in Karagwe, arrives home after a long day of work. It is nighttime in Africa, and pitch black envelops the quiet community. There are no street lights, no glows in the neighbors' windows; only the brilliant stars of the Southern Cross provide illumination.

But on this night, Mr. Stiletto arrives to find his house teeming with activity. The solar electric system he spent a year buying has finally arrived, and his family is already putting it to good use. His wife is busily cooking in the kitchen, his eldest son studiously doing homework, and his two youngest children playing Monopoly, all possible due to the streaming radiance provided by the fluorescent lamp in the living room.

Had this been a typical night in a typical Karagwe house, Mr. Stiletto would have to wait his turn to use one of the household's two kerosene lamps, for he has about thirty exams to grade. In other words, he would be up late, long after his family had retired for the night. But as he greets his family working and playing under this new artificial sun, Mr.

Stiletto realizes that the "typical" Karagwe evening has now changed forever. Customers will start their lifetime relationship with Abaka upon receipt of their first solar electric kit. In time, they will learn to effectively apply the full potential of solar energy, and they will completely replace archaic kerosene lamps and dry cell batteries with the solar electricity that will become the routine hallmark of the future for communities like Karagwe. Patel will facilitate dealings with the Tanzanian government, as well as with Karadea, an influential UN-funded nongovernment organization that will be heavily utilized, both in the construction of the power station and in ongoing operations.

Abaka will negotiate the most attractive supply agreements possible, and all purchases will be made directly from manufacturers at wholesale prices. Additionally, all shipping will occur via ocean, to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam. Supplies will be trucked overland to Karagwe from the Indian Ocean coast. To avoid import duties, all batteries will be purchased in bulk directly from the Acme Exide Company, a Tanzania manufacturer. Lights, charge controllers, wiring, connectors, and radios will be purchased in bulk from wholesale suppliers in the United States, Europe, or South Africa.

Solar modules will be purchased directly from WorldSolar, Inc, a Eugene, Oregon-based company with production facilities in India. Abaka will be able to legally avoid all import duties through Mr. Patel's association with Karadea, which enjoys complete exemption from most Tanzanian tariff laws. A temporary workforce of about will be hired in Karagwe to build the power station and community center.

Insurance on hard assets will be purchased from a trustworthy agency in Tanzania. SSEW will be charged with the responsibility of maintaining customer relations and satisfaction. This will include subscribing new customers and taking care of existing ones. SSEW will provide free maintenance or repair visits to customers' homes for one year after the equipment's initial installation.

Additionally, SSEW will help and encourage customers to upgrade to larger power systems. Used components in good working condition will be accepted as trade-in for credit on a larger system. Furthermore, customers will be encouraged to return their used batteries to SSEW, which will send them out for proper recycling.

Price credits towards the purchase of new batteries will be given to all customers who dispose of their old batteries in this manner. SSEW will be in charge of hiring and maintaining a trained local workforce. Because Mr. Patel has taught at the Institute for Solar Training for six years, he knows who the most competent technicians are, and how to find them in East Africa.

Abaka will provide the financial resources to help Mr. Patel attract these technicians to Karagwe. The following table shows Abaka's anticipated operating expenses from Abaka will assemble a legal team and incorporate during the first quarter of After completing and revising the business plan, the company will begin to seek grants and investments from accredited private investors, multi-national relief agencies, and, possibly, from large corporations.

There will be some need for product development and prototyping in Karagwe. Solar electric systems consist of four main components. The solar panel harnesses photon energy from the sun, converting radiation into electricity. This electricity is then conditioned by a charge controller before it is sent to a battery for storage. The charge controller regulates the battery's state of charge, preventing it from being damaged.

The appliance, then, receives its power directly from the battery. This system has been used and perfected for well over fifty years, and Abaka's kits will not deviate from this simple design. Nevertheless, Abaka's solar electric systems will be sold as pre-assembled kits. Because customers will be expected to perform their own installations, Abaka will need to test customer reaction to these kits. Specifically, Abaka will assemble several versions in order to develop a packaging method that optimizes simplicity for the customer.

Prototype testing will be conducted simultaneously with the construction of the power station and will take less than one month to complete. Because these financing plans will be expensive, and because no equipment will be distributed until all payments have been received, it will take time for Abaka to earn the trust of Karagwe's consumers. However, Abaka is convinced that this can be done within one year.

First, utilization of SSEW, a Karagwe company that people already know and trust, will help to lend credibility to Abaka's promises. Second, the power station and community center will represent a symbol of Abaka's long-term commitment to the community. Finally, Abaka will lead by example; when working solar kits are delivered to the first wave of customers, Abaka's trustworthiness will be ultimately confirmed.

By this time, Karagwe's demand for these systems will be growing fantastically. Project Karagwe will be launched in five major phases, during the following estimated dates:. Stiller during the first quarter of Abaka's principal founders, Liam Stiller and Ghin Patel, will control the majority of the company's equity.

Abaka will employ both Mr. Stiller and Mr. Patel on a full-time basis. A Board of Directors will be assembled if and when investors demand one. A Board of Advisers has been compiled in the meanwhile. This Board is composed of experts with extensive experience relevant to the area of international rural development.

All of these advisers have agreed to lend their assistance free of charge. Please see the Appendix for a detailed description of Abaka's Board of Advisers, and Appendix F for the resume of one of Abaka's founders. Liam Stiller, Executive Officer. Stiller is Abaka's primary visionary.

He will earn his M. He has taken formal coursework in both PV and wind system design and installation at International Natural Energy INE , arguably the most respected and well-known RE training facilities in the world. He has traveled extensively in East Africa, and conducted market research on solar financing in Karagwe while doing an internship for SSEW during the summer of Ghin Patel, Africa Operations Officer.

Patel, Abaka's principal co-founder, will serve as the company's Officer for Africa Operations. Patel is a native of Karagwe, Tanzania, and is a master electrician. SSEW offers a wide range of electrical services in the Karagwe area and beyond.

Patel has installed over solar electric systems in his career, and he has taught the PV systems design and installation course at the Institute for Solar Training for six years. For the last three of those years, Mr. Patel has served as the school's resident chief of staff. Patel has very close ties.

In a period of only eight years, the Institute for Solar Training has arguably become the most respected solar energy technical school in the southern Hemisphere. Patel has earned the distinction "Fundi," which, in Kiswahili means "Master Technician. The following table shows Abaka's expected administrative expenses for The financial statements presented in the Appendix reflect only Abaka's forecasted sales of pre-financing contracts in Karagwe. Revenues generated from community center services are not included in these forecasts, nor are potential revenues generated from projects in locations other than Karagwe.

In addition, the financial statements assume that Abaka makes no capital expenditures during the explicit period of Due to the nature of the pre-financing plans, the bulk of customer payments will be collected before kit components will be ordered. This will have a positive effect on net income and cash flow. The following table presents Abaka's expected operational calendar and shows why reported net income and cash flow will be increased by the nature of the pre-financing plans.

The following table shows Abaka's comparative financial ratios for operational years The increasing return on equity figures demonstrate that Abaka does not plan to seek further external capital to expand the operation in Karagwe. The return on assets figures do not increase as substantially, because this analysis assumes that Abaka does not expend any cash during the first six years of operation.

Ratio Comparisons. There are no comparable businesses that release their financial ratios to the public. Most of the activity in the rural development industry is driven and subsidized by industrialized governments and World Bank contracts. There are several private enterprises that have been largely successful in this realm, but their financial statements are not available for comparison.

Currency Translation. All of Abaka's revenues will be collected in Tanzanian shillings, and almost every shilling collected will have to be converted into U. Although the Tanzanian shilling has deflated considerably against the dollar over the past eighteen months, this trend may not continue.

As far as the founders know, there are no market-based instruments available for hedging this currency risk. As such, all financial forecasts assume that Abaka will lose 5 percent of its revenue to currency exchange fluctuations and expenses.

In order to minimize exposure, almost all collected Tanzanian money will be immediately converted into U.

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By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Statement and our Terms of Use. Abaka will establish its first project in Karagwe, Tanzania, which lies near the western shore of Lake Victoria, deep in sub-Saharan Africa. Abaka will introduce affordable electricity to Karagwe by offering attractive financing options for solar electric systems.

This will enable families to make purchases in small monthly installments, in the same way that a consumer would buy an automobile in the United States. This community center will also serve as a nucleus of education, where Karagwe residents will be exposed to a contagious spirit of entrepreneurship. The services provided here will enable, motivate, and educate people to start new businesses. In this way, Abaka's presence in Karagwe will substantially boost the region's economic prosperity.

Karagwe is a dispersed farming community of , people. The area is so remote that power lines may never be extended there, and only 2 percent of the population has electricity. Market research conducted in Karagwe strongly suggests that this price is feasible, despite the fact that it represents 45 percent of a typical family's annual income.

Currently, Karagwe families use crude and dangerous kerosene lamps to light their homes, and expensive dry-cell batteries to power their radios. A solar electric system is safer, more reliable, provides better lighting, and promises better value than the alternatives mentioned above.

Construction of the power station and community center will advertise Abaka's dedication to a sustainable, long-term presence within the community. Working with SSEW, Abaka will sponsor informational forums to educate customers about the economic benefits of financing, the technology behind solar electricity, and the use of electricity in cultivating a prosperous economy. An expert in the RE field has been recruited to design this station, and to oversee its construction.

SSEW will run all operations of the business in Karagwe, including inventory handling, payment collection, product distribution, and maintenance repair. All power systems will be sold to customers as pre-packaged kits, assembled by SSEW employees. Liam Stiller, Abaka's founder, is completing his M. As permanent employees, the founders will seek, identify, and finance lucrative new project opportunities all over the world.

Patel will also oversee Abaka's operations in Karagwe. Abaka will seek this capital from private accredited investors, nonprofit relief agencies, or possibly as a partnership with a global technology company interested in penetrating emerging markets. Abaka's presence in Karagwe will drastically improve the community's prosperity, thereby building real demand for electronics and telecommunications products and services.

In exchange for capital and strategic support, Abaka will offer an investor equity, and will additionally offer a partner company direct, unlimited access to these markets at the grass-roots level. Abaka is dedicated to improving the lives of the world's underprivileged people by promoting the use of clean renewable energy.

Therefore, Abaka also offers investors association with this noble initiative. The commitment of Abaka Energy Solutions will be to spread technologies for harnessing renewable energy RE. The term "renewable" refers to sources of energy that can never be diminished or exhausted, such as wind and sun. The most common commercial RE technologies are photovoltaic PV modules, wind turbines, and, increasingly, fuel cells, which produce electricity from solar radiation, wind, and hydrogen, respectively.

To become the world leader in the creation, development, and deployment of technologies that converge the advancement of human civilization with that of the environmental condition. To profitably and sustainably introduce renewable energy into the world's underdeveloped communities. The company will serve as a for-profit holding, investing, and consulting agency, and will work in partnership with developing communities to establish sustainable RE projects all over the world. Abaka will immediately specialize in providing electricity and electric services for rural communities, and will utilize two different business strategies to distribute power.

First, Abaka will sell solar electric systems for home and commercial applications by allowing customers to finance the cost of these systems over time. Second, the company will offer end-user services direct to customers by establishing electrified community centers in the heart of their villages. At these centers, people will be able to purchase services ranging from crop processing to refrigeration to telecommunications access to internet browsing.

The company will aggressively expand into a global provider of RE products and services by seeking new opportunities in other parts of Africa, as well as in Asia and Latin America. This business plan will present Abaka's strategy for getting started, by establishing a profitable and sustainable RE business in Karagwe, Tanzania.

Abaka will offer financing packages for home and commercial-scale solar electric systems. Abaka will enable Karagwe customers to purchase systems in affordable monthly installments, similar to the way most people in the United States purchase automobiles. These financing options will be especially popular in poor communities such as Karagwe, where affordability drives a preventative wedge in a customer's ability to buy.

This business plan will mainly describe the financing aspect of Abaka's operation in Karagwe. A number of end-user services will eventually be provided at this community center, such as coffee bean processing, food storage and refrigeration, battery charging, water distilling, computing, telecommunications access, and Internet browsing. In addition, an educational center will be instituted, where customers will learn how to use electricity and technology to start new businesses, or to expand existing ones.

Most of these services will be provided within a year after Abaka's initial establishment in Karagwe, but eventually they will generate as much as 75 percent of the company's revenue. All of these services will be designed to help Karagwe residents augment their incomes. In this way, Abaka hopes to foster economic activity, and thus prosperity, within the community.

This business plan will not describe the community center aspect of Abaka's operation in detail, but the offering of these services is part of the company's long-range plan for development in Karagwe. In Karagwe, and in all other project sites, Abaka will seek partnership with a local organization to help with operations, marketing, legal negotiations, and other important aspects of conducting business. Ghin Patel, a Tanzanian electrical engineer and entrepreneur.

Patel and Mr. Stiller, Abaka's founder, are close friends, and have been in business together for close to two years. It is virtually impossible for any foreign company to conduct effective or sustainable business in a poor, developing community without trustworthy local contacts. Besides SSEW, there is no company in Karagwe that has the technical capability, or the entrepreneurial innovation, to establish a joint venture of this kind.

As such, Abaka is confident that no other foreign company will be able to enter this market. Although fifty years of market exposure have proven RE technologies to be unequivocally reliable and durable, the commercial RE industry is still in its infancy, and the electricity markets in developing parts of the world remain almost completely untapped. A business solution is needed to meet the challenge of profitably selling this expensive, high technology equipment to people with meager incomes.

In the past five years, a number of strategies have been implemented in rural, developing markets with astounding success. Almost all of these models have extended a micro-credit or financing option to their customers. These successful companies, which will be further discussed in the Industry Analysis section, have proven the efficacy of the business model that Abaka will apply in Karagwe. RSVP is a small, but fast-growing subset of the gigantic global energy industry, which is currently experiencing an economic revolution.

One significant characteristic of this revolution has been astonishing growth. Over the past ten years, for instance, the world's demand for electricity has increased by 40 percent. Experts predict that, as industrialization sweeps developing countries, current demand could triple by Because so many new electricity users live in remote areas, most of this increased demand has been, and will continue to be, serviced by RE.

As a result, renewables are by far the fastest growing segment of world energy use. The second trend of importance is privatization and deregulation. Over the past five years, this has been a global contagion, especially in developing countries, where governments continue to implement aggressive policies designed to attract foreign investment.

Tanzania, for instance, adopted the National Investment Promotion and Protection Act in , which guaranteed the privatization of several key industries, including energy. The opening of these economies has sparked the proliferation of scores of small, entrepreneurial energy companies striving to profitably satisfy the need for rural energy development.

Some, such as the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, the Solar Electric Light Fund of Thailand, and Soluz of the Dominican Republic, have developed profitable business models based on selling solar electric systems through micro-credit arrangements. But despite this recent surge of activity, the RSVP industry still faces some imposing challenges.

For example, the vast majority of people who most need RE technologies still cannot afford them. Substantial increases in end-user purchasing power have remained elusive, and, as a result, sales are not close to what they could be. Consequently, RE manufacturers have been unable to drive economies of scale enough to cost-compete with fossil fuels. Another problem is the lack of skilled RE technicians in developing countries. There are only a handful of training centers in the world teaching RE system installation.

Finally, international turmoil remains an imposing obstacle. In many countries, political and economic instability has prevented the long-term investment and presence needed to sustain RE projects. These challenges are typical of any global industry that is only just beginning to mature, and real progress is being made to address them.

Over the past decade, for instance, PV production costs have been reduced by 80 percent an additional 50 to 75 percent is required to cost-compete with coal-fired electricity. Furthermore, experts predict that economic and industrial development in emerging countries will lead to a percent increase in world income by As prosperity builds demand for electricity, RE training centers are being established in the developing world, such as the highly respected Institute for Solar Training in Karagwe.

Furthermore, despite civil wars and social unrest, there are scores of developing countries, like Tanzania, where political stability harbors fantastic economic opportunity. Many experts predict that this global "Energy Revolution" contains the seed that will become the world's premier growth industry of the twenty-first century.

Tanzania is the largest and most peaceful nation in East Africa. The country has demonstrated over 38 years of political stability, and is governed by a multiparty democracy based on English common law. Tanzania has posted an average annual economic growth rate of 3. Tanzania's GDP is expected to grow at 5 percent annually through Agriculture is the nation's primary industry, accounting for 56 percent of its GDP, and employing over 90 percent of its workforce. Only 24 percent of Tanzania's population live in urban areas, meaning that the country's 32 million people are widely dispersed over an area more than twice the size of California.

Between and , demand for electricity in Tanzania grew at an average annual rate of Over 75 percent of Tanzania's electricity consumers are served by hydroelectric power, and the country experiences generation shortfalls during drought conditions. Almost all of Tanzania's electricity usage is confined to its urban areas. Karagwe is a remote farming community in the northwestern corner of Tanzania, about kilometers from the western shore of Lake Victoria, at a geographic position of two degrees south latitude.

The region experiences two dependable rainy seasons per year, and receives an annual average of about five peak sun hours per day, roughly 10 percent more than Denver, Colorado. About , people, or 60, households, live in this region, which is situated on a wide, sloping ridge at an elevation of 1, meters 5, feet above sea level.

The prominence of this ridge above the surrounding plain leaves it exposed to the tropical trade winds, which consistently blow from the west. There are few regions in the world that boast such abundant RE natural resources. Almost every household in Karagwe is surrounded by a plantation of several hectares, and coffee is the community's chief cash crop. Karagwe is an extremely dispersed village, with , people living in an area of 3, square kilometers. As a result, only 1.

The remaining 98 percent have no hope of seeing the grid extended to their homes during the next ten years. Residents of Karagwe realize that modernization cannot take place without electricity, and that access to electricity will significantly enhance their economic prosperity and quality of life. As a result, it is no surprise that percent of the fifty or so Karagwe residents surveyed during the summer of indicated a strong desire to participate in a financing program that would allow them to afford a solar electric system.

Karagwe families live in large houses, typically constructed of brick and concrete. Each house has three to five bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a washroom, and an animal pen. Families submit no property taxes or mortgage payments. Furthermore, because Karagwe is a farming community, residents spend very little on food, except for the few items, such as rice and fish that must be imported from surrounding districts.

Very few people in this village possess an automobile, and those who do earn three to ten times more than the average yearly income. Aside from a handful of bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and weekly farmers' markets, Karagwe offers very little for the consumer. Because there is not much in this community to spend money on, Karagwe families tend to retain a purchasing power that is greater than half of their annual income.

Nevertheless, due in large part to the inflationary pressures and banking crises that have plagued Tanzania ever since the s, people are generally unfamiliar with the concept of saving money. Only in the past few years have stabilized banks begun to earn the trust of Tanzanian consumers, and in the rural parts of the country, this trend is proceeding quite slowly. Despite these simplistic financial tendencies, the typical Karagwe resident is quite sophisticated, and understands the benefits of solar electricity.

Ghin Patel, is chief of faculty. Because of the international recognition of this school, Karagwe residents know that solar electricity represents a clean, safe, and reliable way to power their homes. As a result, most families continue to light their homes with crude kerosene lamps, and to power their radios with inefficient dry cell batteries.

Nevertheless, the demand for solar electric systems latently exists in Karagwe, and it is up to Abaka to tap this market potential by making these systems affordable for the average Karagwe family. Competing Technologies. Because solar electric systems are so expensive in Karagwe, they are viewed as luxury items. Almost every family would love to have one, but affordability is a preventative issue.

As such, people must use more conventional methods of lighting their homes. Kerosene and dry cell batteries are readily available in Karagwe, but neither item is particularly cheap. Kerosene sells for about fifty cents per liter, and a typical family uses four to six liters per month; many organizations, such as schools and health clinics, use twenty to fifty liters per month.

Some families also own gasoline gensets, while still others own automobile batteries, which they charge with gensets, or at a grid station in the central part of the village. Abaka's chief competition in Karagwe is certainly kerosene and disposable batteries, and solar has several advantages over them.

First, kerosene lamps are crude and dangerous; it is easy to find an adult in Karagwe who has been burned, at some point in his or her life, by a kerosene lamp leaking, spilling, or completely exploding. Furthermore, kerosene lamps provide lighting that is only somewhat better than a large candle, and they tend to be noisy and smelly during operation. Dry cell batteries are expensive because they must be replaced so frequently, and their disposal poses a serious environmental threat.

Also, many appliances cannot be powered with batteries. A solar electric system, on the other hand, is clean and safe, and provides the familiar fluorescent, white light that can illuminate an entire room. Furthermore, a solar electric system can be used to power any electric appliance. It offers modularity, flexibility, and expandability, so that one single power source can be used for the house's every electrical need.

Additionally, these systems are extremely reliable, and require only minimal maintenance on, and periodic replacement of, the battery. If well maintained, a solar electric system will last for thirty years. Solar electric systems are more expensive than conventional alternatives in the short-term, but in the long run provide a far superior value for the money.

Furthermore, there is not a single organization in all of northwestern Tanzania that offers financing for solar electric systems. Furthermore, this company has no understanding of solar electricity, and maintains only a minimal presence in Karagwe. In order to make solar electricity affordable, Abaka will offer families and businesses the option of paying for their system in twelve monthly installments.

It is estimated that roughly one-third of Karagwe's households earn this amount or more, meaning that Abaka's primary target market in Karagwe consists of about 19, families. Financing Terms. Many micro-credit programs have failed in developing communities because customers have been allowed to default on their loans.

It can be extremely difficult both logistically and financially to repossess equipment in remote villages of foreign countries. To circumvent this problem, Abaka will offer "pre-financing" plans to its customers. Under the terms of these pre-financing options, customers will have to pay their entire balance before Abaka will give them a system. There are two reasons why this is necessary in Karagwe. First, people in developing countries often do not understand the concept of credit, and, especially when an American company is the lender, regularly assume that "credit" means "free.

People in these communities, Karagwe included, are accustomed to receiving free handouts from the World Bank and industrialized governments. It is unlikely that Abaka can establish a high-growth, sustainable business in Karagwe if expensive electrical systems are provided, but money is not collected. As such, customers will pay for their systems first, in entirety, before they receive them; no exceptions will be allowed. Because the financing plans will have one-year terms, Abaka must offer customers something while they pay for their electric systems.

This is where the community center will be useful. During the terms of their financing contracts, Abaka's customers will be allowed to utilize all services at this community center free of charge. These privileges will end upon fulfillment of the financing agreement, or if a customer defaults on several payments. This strategy will allow Abaka to collect money before distributing systems, and will encourage customers to fulfill their financing agreements.

Abaka will gladly accept down payments for customers desiring shorter financing terms. Solar Electric Kits. Abaka's solar electric systems will be sized to meet the needs of a typical Karagwe household. Very few Karagwe homes have the need to power anything more extravagant than a few fluorescent lights and a radio, and therefore these systems will be small by Western standards.

Each system will come with a solar panel, a deep-cycle battery, a charge controller, lights, a radio, wiring, connectors, and mounting materials. In order to serve the expected high demand for affordable solar electric systems in Karagwe, all systems will be sold as pre-assembled kits. These kits will be designed to be so simple that end-users will be able to perform the installations themselves.

In this way, Abaka will minimize the size of its technical staff. Initially, there will be three kit sizes offered. The following table presents a spec and price comparison of Abaka's introductory product line. For homes or businesses requiring more power, customized systems will also be available. Furthermore, as the community becomes more prosperous, people will develop more extravagant tastes for electric appliances and equipment, such as television sets, satellite dish receivers, refrigerators, and computers.

Abaka will continuously readjust this product line according to customers' power needs. In addition, attractive trade-in and scale-up plans will be offered to customers in subsequent years, so that smaller systems can be traded in and upgraded to larger ones. Abaka will price these kits as low as possible while still yielding an attractive profit.

Based on Prouffer's experience in Indonesia between and , it is expected that a family living in an impoverished, rural agricultural community will surrender about half of its yearly income for a necessary item such as reliable electricity.

With the pricing strategy that Abaka has adopted, Karagwe consumers will pay less than half of what a comparable solar electric system would cost from a typical African retailer. The community center will be used as Abaka's administrative office and distribution hub. Most of the components of the solar electric kits will be shipped by sea from suppliers in the U.

Abaka will also attempt to identify reliable suppliers in South Africa to reduce its dependence on overseas shipping. Upon arrival in Karagwe, SSEW will be responsible for assembling all components into complete solar electric kits, ready for installation. When customers have satisfied their payment schedules, they will be cordially thanked for their business, and invited to pick up their kits from the community center.

At this time, customers will be given written instructions on how to install and maintain their new systems. During their payment period, and throughout their duration of ownership, all Abaka customers will be invited to attend free educational workshops on using, maintaining, optimizing, and expanding their solar electric systems. Abaka will rely greatly on publicity and word-of-mouth advertising to promote these financing plans. Residents will be unable to avoid noticing the sheer scale of this project.

Over people will be employed in this undertaking, and every newspaper and radio station in the region will publicly monitor its progress. Like many rural agricultural villages, Karagwe is a tight-knit community, and people tend to be extremely social. Abaka will have to do little to instigate excitement and conversation about this project.

Once built, the generating facility, featuring a 10,watt wind turbine perched on an eighty-foot tower, and a 5,watt array of sleek solar panels mounted on a 10,square-foot scaffold, will serve as a constant advertisement of the electricity that Abaka offers. Due to the visibility of this project, Abaka will ensure that high standards of professionalism are maintained at all times. Embroidered uniforms will be distributed to the SSEW technicians that maintain and operate the community center.

New, high-quality equipment will be purchased, and the community center itself will have a clean, modern design. Service will be prompt and courteous, and technicians will be well trained and well paid. To complement the publicity aspect, Abaka will also post billboards in the heavily trafficked "downtown" area of the Karagwe district.

The main purpose of these billboard advertisements will be to inform and remind customers of scheduled educational training sessions and technical demonstrations being held at the community center. In addition, posters will be used to announce new service offerings or price adjustments, as needed. Finally, professionally printed brochures, featuring concise descriptions of the financing plans offered, as well as general information about solar energy, will be widely distributed.

Ghin Patel, the founder and executive officer of SSEW, is a native of Karagwe, and has been installing solar energy systems there for eight years. Patel's expert reputation is common knowledge in the community. Patel's contacts and stature in Karagwe as a solar energy professional.

Because SSEW's name is already well known to the community, customers will be dealing directly with a local company that they trust. A customer service office and reception desk will be established at the community center, and SSEW will collect payments at this location. Therefore, SSEW will have an incentive to aggressively generate sales by subscribing new customers, in whatever fashion they deem appropriate or effective.

Abaka's projected target market in Karagwe is about 19, families. There are 58, families in the region without electricity. However, these pre-financing plans will be expensive. Furthermore, customers will have to pay all of their monthly installments before receiving any equipment. Abaka recognizes that this will initially dissuade many potential customers. However, the construction of the power station and community center, as well as the partnership with SSEW, will help to reinforce Abaka's trustworthiness, and should neutralize some of these concerns.

In addition, Abaka will allow subscribed customers to use the community center for free during their contract term. This means that customers will be able to enjoy free access to computers, refrigeration, water distilling, coffee bean processing, telecommunications access, and other services, for up to a year. Abaka anticipates subscribing about families in , the first year of operation.

After one year, Karagwe residents will witness the delivery of solar electric systems purchased the previous year by their friends, neighbors, and relatives. The demand for these financing contracts will therefore increase exquisitely over the next five years, as Abaka's trustworthiness becomes confirmed, and its presence accepted, by the community. Furthermore, similar projects in other parts of the world have demonstrated that the availability of energy systems motivates people to increase their income by working harder, and then to save more of that income, in anticipation of having something valuable to buy.

As a result, more Karagwe families will be able and willing to afford Abaka's financing plans over time, and the growth rates built into Abaka's revenue forecasts reflect this expectation. The following table shows sales and revenue forecasts for the years Bim Stiletto, a primary schoolteacher in Karagwe, arrives home after a long day of work.

It is nighttime in Africa, and pitch black envelops the quiet community. There are no street lights, no glows in the neighbors' windows; only the brilliant stars of the Southern Cross provide illumination. But on this night, Mr. Stiletto arrives to find his house teeming with activity. The solar electric system he spent a year buying has finally arrived, and his family is already putting it to good use. His wife is busily cooking in the kitchen, his eldest son studiously doing homework, and his two youngest children playing Monopoly, all possible due to the streaming radiance provided by the fluorescent lamp in the living room.

Had this been a typical night in a typical Karagwe house, Mr. Stiletto would have to wait his turn to use one of the household's two kerosene lamps, for he has about thirty exams to grade. In other words, he would be up late, long after his family had retired for the night. But as he greets his family working and playing under this new artificial sun, Mr. Stiletto realizes that the "typical" Karagwe evening has now changed forever.

Customers will start their lifetime relationship with Abaka upon receipt of their first solar electric kit. In time, they will learn to effectively apply the full potential of solar energy, and they will completely replace archaic kerosene lamps and dry cell batteries with the solar electricity that will become the routine hallmark of the future for communities like Karagwe.

Patel will facilitate dealings with the Tanzanian government, as well as with Karadea, an influential UN-funded nongovernment organization that will be heavily utilized, both in the construction of the power station and in ongoing operations. Abaka will negotiate the most attractive supply agreements possible, and all purchases will be made directly from manufacturers at wholesale prices. Additionally, all shipping will occur via ocean, to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam.

Supplies will be trucked overland to Karagwe from the Indian Ocean coast. To avoid import duties, all batteries will be purchased in bulk directly from the Acme Exide Company, a Tanzania manufacturer. Lights, charge controllers, wiring, connectors, and radios will be purchased in bulk from wholesale suppliers in the United States, Europe, or South Africa. Solar modules will be purchased directly from WorldSolar, Inc, a Eugene, Oregon-based company with production facilities in India.

Abaka will be able to legally avoid all import duties through Mr. Patel's association with Karadea, which enjoys complete exemption from most Tanzanian tariff laws.

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