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“Solarkiosk has brought big changes to my life. It allows me to do sustainable business all year round, while being close to my family and supporting them. In the future, I plan to take Solarkiosk F.C. to district and regional football competitions.”

Masresha Woldegebrel, Solarkiosk operator in Omorate, Ethiopia

SOLARKIOSK Stories: The children

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This story is dedicated to the children, benefitting directly from SOLARKIOSK whilst inspiring us to continue our effort consistently and consecutively. The phenomena that each of our projects is ubiquitously celebrated by children across rural Africa is a true blessing.

 

The fascination always surfaces in the eyes of the kids as they gaze upon the site clearly delighted by the atmosphere emitted by SOLARKIOSK. This correlation is a refreshing breeze for our team whenever engaged by their little brothers and sisters.

The lack of resources doesn’t seem to bother the children´s ever abundant creativity, as depicted on  one of the images presented; a constellation of literal trash weaved into a fabrication resembling a unique and artistic version of a bobby cart. Nimble novelty occurring in places yet to be globalised, the evolutionary trademark of nature.

 

A further image depicts children at a Connected Solar School in a refugee camp in Jordan – powered with energy and connectivity by SOLARKIOSK.

 

The estimated 1000 children here enjoy a clean, anxiety-free, and energy-sufficient school life that we are happy to contribute to along with our partners. These kids have lost their homes and some even their families which makes the school and people they are with detrimental for their further childhood years.  For us this is the definition of impact.

 

Being accepted and loved by the children is a great reassurance for our work directive and personal initiative; a true blessing.

SOLARKIOSK Stories: Omorate, Ethiopia

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Before joining Solarkiosk as an operator in 2012, Masresha Woldegebrel worked as a guide in the Rift Valley which stretches from southern Ethiopia to Tanzania. He speaks Amharic, English, Swahili, Turkana, Dassanech, and the South Sudanese dialect of Arabic.

 

“Following tourism work, which obliged me to travel a lot, my wish was always to be nearer to home and run a business while staying close and supporting my family and my parents. I came to know Solarkiosk through a guide friend and was lucky to be appointed as Omorate’s Solarkiosk Operator.”

 

The Dassanech tribe is almost exclusively pastoralist. All businesses in the area are owned by people from other parts of Ethiopia. Masresha is the first businessperson in the area from the local Dassanech tribe and he has become well known because of this; in fact, the locals now call him ‘Solar’.

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Masresha’s success in Omorate has enabled him to operate a second Solarkiok E-HUBB in the community. The local government has granted him land by the banks of the Omo River to set up his business.

 

The Omo River region is a popular tourist spot and Masresha’s E-HUBBs attract local business and tourists alike. Using his experience in the tourism industry, Masresha has converted part of the land into a campsite, which he later plans to develop into a lodge.

 

Furthermore, Masresha has also founded and sponsors a local football team called ‘Solarkiosk F.C.’ (pictured above), with a squad of 18 local youngsters aged 17 to 20. The team finished its first season in the local league in second place and the striker, Mihretu Tadele, was the league’s best scorer and was invited to join the district team.

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For the Ethiopia New Year’s Day celebration, Masresha helped organize a music festival with the local Culture & Tourism administration. It was the first-ever music festival in the area and featured performances by local dancing groups and singers.

 

Masresha’s E-HUBB is the only business in Omorate that features solar lighting products. He has collaborated with the local USAID-funded NGO Agri-Service, who have helped facilitate long-term micro loans to 20 households for the purchase of solar lights, which were supplied by Masresha this past September.

 

Masresha continues to provide customer support and after-sales services to solar product customers and the positive overall feedback has resulted in increased demand. Together with Agri-Service, SOLARKIOSK has positioned billboards promoting solar energy in Omorate.

The SOLARKIOSK team

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Andreas Spiess – CEO

 

Andreas Spiess is the co-founder and CEO of SOLARKIOSK AG, headquartered in Berlin, Germany.

Andreas professional career started 1999 as a lawyer and founding partner of Spieß Schumacher Schmieg, & Partner, a boutique law firm focusing on IP and Media Law as well as clean-tech start-ups (www.spiess-schumacher.de). Andreas did extensive legal work in the field of renewable energy and developing markets which was the inspiration for his second career as an impact investor and serial entrepreneur. In 2008, Andreas Spiess and his Ethiopian partners founded Solar Development plc, based in Addis Abeba, which now is one of the biggest solar system integrators in Ethiopia. In 2010 he co-founded Fosera Ethiopia plc, a solar lighting product assembly line based in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Andreas entrepreneurial experience in the off-grid sector was the basis for his idea for SOLARKIOSK to which his partners from GRAFT architects contributed the award winning technology-design.

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Hubertus Dornieden – CFO

 

Hubertus Dornieden is the CFO of SOLARKIOSK AG, headquartered in Berlin, Germany.  He has over 15 years’ experience serving as a CFO and CEO for various companies across multiple industries. From 2013 to 2016 Hubertus was the CEO of Kappa optronics, a highly specialized international camera company. Between 2001 and 2013 he worked for Qioptiq, a photonics company, in various leading management positions.   In his role as CFO, he led the refinancing of the Qioptiq group and its private stock listing. Early in his career, Hubertus worked as a Technology Investment Banker with HSBC and spent five years at KPMG.  He started his career in 2001 at the Treuhandanstalt and holds a degree in Economics Teaching from Georg-August-University, Göttingen.

SOLARKIOSK Supervisory Board

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Dr. Hartmut Schüning – Chairman of the Supervisory Board

 

Dr. Schüning holds a PhD in Business Administration. From 2004 to 2009 he was the CFO of Q.Cells SE, where one of his achievements was his contribution to the solar company´s successful IPO. In recent years Dr. Schüning has been active in helping to launch various start up enterprises in the solar industry. Prior to his engagement in the solar energy industry, Dr. Schüning had worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and was a Board Member at Edding AG and Tecis AG.

Andrew Reicher

 

Mr. Reicher advises and invests in various renewable energy enterprises in developing countries. He is the Chairman of The Africa Renewable Energy Fund, which is managed by Berkeley Energy. A British national, he was educated in the UK and US, and after an initial period of 10 years in investment banking at Citibank and Credit Suisse, spent the past 28 years of his career in private equity investment with Botts & Company, Credit Suisse, CDC/Actis and Berkeley Energy.

Thomas Willemeit

 

 

Mr. Willemeit is an Architect, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of SOLARKIOSK AG and Investor in smart real estate. He is one of the founders of GRAFT Architects with international subsidiary companies and GRAFT BrandLab as an agency for spatial communication. A German national, he grew up near Cologne and received his education in architecture at the Technical University in Braunschweig/Germany, graduating in 1997. He worked for three years at Studio Daniel Libeskind before founding GRAFT with his partners Lars Krückeberg and Wolfram Putz.

Kristian Sloth Petersen

 

 

Mr. Petersen has been the Managing Director of BESTSELLER FOUNDATION since its inception as an impact investment fund in Copenhagen in 2015. The foundation was established by the family behind BESTSELLER, a fashion company that sells its products through more than 20 different brands. A Danish national and a Master of Political Science, Mr. Petersen has spent large parts of his life in African countries and has more than 15 years’ experience from international development work having served both in various management and board positions in private and multilateral organisations.

Lars Krückeberg

 

Mr. Krückeberg studied architecture at the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany, where he graduated with a Dipl.-Ing. Arch and received his Master of Architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles, USA. In 1998 Lars Krückeberg established GRAFT in Los Angeles together with Thomas Willemeit and Wolfram Putz and the company has since expanded with international offices in Berlin and Beijing. Mr. Krückeberg founded Solarkiosk with his GRAFT Partners and Andreas Spiess and served the company for 4 years as the CTO.

SOLARKIOSK Managing Directors

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William Mukaria
Managing Director
Kenya

Gezachew

Gezachew Fekadu
Managing Director
Ethiopia

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Evary Murasa
Managing Director
Rwanda

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Muhammed Sonko
Managing Director
Tanzania

SOLARKIOSK Directors

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Virgina

Virginia Taborda
Director B2B Sales

 

has in-depth experience in the B2B field having worked for a manufacturer, a bank, a private equity firm and entrepreneurs over her 14 year career in aviation sales and business development.

thomas

Thomas Rieger
Director Business Development

 

has more than 15 years of international and emerging markets experience in Banking, Software and the PV industry, where he has managing people, products, sales and quality.

Manuela

Dr. Manuela Raith
Director of Country and Project Management

 

has over 20 years experience in global senior management func-tions, responsible for the imple-mentation of new strategies, change management, growing businesses and making them profitable.

Stefan

Stefan Lissner
Director of Finance

 

has over 15 years experience in Corporate Finance, Venture Capital, Investor Relations and M&A from Big 4 auditing firms, as well as different stock listed companies.

Ketan

Ketan Patel
Director of Retail

 

has over 25 years’ entrepreneurial experience serving in Executive Roles in Multi Unit Pan African and Global Retail and Franchising Companies.

Sebastian

Sebastian Massmann
Director of Technology

 

has 12 years experience working as an architect and designer of sustainable and energy efficient building projects. At GRAFT Architects he has lead the design and the development of the E-HUBB concept from the first stages on.