Welcome to March!
Our Young Person of the Month is Samuel Moses Elba from Sierra Leone! Samuel is an innovator and Founder of Spark Light Energy; a clean tech startup that manufacture a one-minute hand crank powered generator electricity supply using recycled materials which can provide 220-volt electric current that can power household appliances without the use of fossil fuel.
His company is dedicated to providing clean and affordable access to electricity supply to over 3.5M people living in rural communities in Sierra Leone over the years. Samuel emerged the first place winner of the OD Impact Challenge 2019!
Read his amazing story below and be inspired!
SAMUEL MOSES ELBA
Samuel Moses Elba is an innovator and Founder of Spark Light Energy; a clean tech startup that manufactures a one-minute hand crank powered generator electricity supply using recycled materials. His company is dedicated to provide clean and affordable access to electricity supply.
Samuel says, the motivation to make a change in solving problems that affect his community is the reason he chose innovation and entrepreneurship as a career. Failing his exams because his parents couldn’t afford to pay electricity bills for him to study at night further fueled Samuel’s desire to come up with a solution which no one seemed to figure out but yet posed as a huge challenge to other children living in the same community as Samuel.
Being an innovator, Samuel came up with a sustainable solution that is now benefiting not only him but also other hundreds of students who are facing similar challenges. Samuel still recalls when he would sneak into other people’s backyards and dump sites in search for scrap electronics to create his invention. Normally, in deprived communities like his, he says, students use kerosene lantern lamps to study which are not environmental friendly and may lead to health risks and lung cancer among many other complications. Kerosene lamps could also cause fire accidents.
On His Successes, Failures and Future Plans
Thanks to his ideas and efforts, Samuel was admitted into the Watson Institute incubation program for four months in the United States of America which helped him shape his idea into action which is creating social impact in his community.
In the next six years, Spark Light Energy intends to expand into several rural communities across Africa with the aim of creating social change by providing clean and affordable electricity supply for both low and high income earners.
On his failures, Samuel says no one believed in his vision when he was searching for funding; and he had to bootstrap, a move that saw him build the first prototype which he showcased at the United Nations Development Social Good Summit Innovation Award. He emerged first place and that is how he got his first seed funding to start his project.
His Words of Advice to the Youth
“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win for the story of any entrepreneur or innovator is still the same from nothing we can become something”.
Who will be the Next Young Person of the Month?
You can be the next Opportunity Desk Young Person of the Month! All you have to do is get a friend to recommend your work or fill out the nomination form here. We want to use the platform to recognize and celebrate the efforts of amazing young people around the world. Oh! And you must be an active Opportunity Desk member, either as a fan, reader or subscriber!