DIV SOCAP Spotlight: Erick Donasian & Graham Smith, Off.Grid:Electric
50 years after Edison, more people still live off the grid than on the grid. That means 1.6 billion people are without access to modern electricity at this very moment, and that the world’s poorest people pay the most for the dirtiest energy. In East Africa, some 85 percent of households operate without electricity; the alternative, kerosene, can be both costly and dangerous. Off Grid Electric is a solar energy provider that provides low-cost electrical services to households and small businesses in Tanzania that don’t have grid power. OGE installs M-POWER solar home systems in homes and small shops, and sells the electricity from the systems to customers on a pay-as-you-go basis via mobile money. Service levels start as low as $0.20 per day and M-POWER systems can power bright lights, phone chargers, and appliances such as radios or televisions. The company currently operates across Tanzania and is scaling quickly with the support of world-class investors like SolarCity, Vulcan Capital, Jasmine Social Investments, Omidyar Networks, USAID and Mulago Foundation.
Erick Donasian, Off Grid Electric’s Regional Manager for Mwanza has more than seven years of community work experience with international organisations working in Tanzania. Driven by the desire to address some of his country’s most pressing developmental challenges, he has worked with programs focused on HIV/AIDS, environmental conservation, sustainable agriculture and economic development. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the Institute of Accountancy in Arusha, Tanzania and was recognised with a Certificate of Academic Excellence.
Graham Smith, Off Grid Electric’s VP of Business Development, has previously held positions in consulting and finance, working with organizations across the private, public and social sectors. He also spent several years with the Clinton Foundation, improving healthcare systems and developing financing approaches to increase access to medicines for over 70 Latin American, Asian and African countries. Graham has studied at Stanford University, Oxford University and Queen’s University. He was a Skoll Associate Fellow at Oxford and was named an Ideas Scholar by Atlantic Magazine and the Aspen Institute.
Learn more about Off.Grid here.