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A young female entrepreneur is tackling the global energy crisis – by creating an ethical buy-to-give energy company in the UK that will power some of the remotest communities in Africa.
Manchester-based Brighter World will install a solar powered microgrid in an African village for every 2,000 who make the switch.
Cheryl Latham, co-founder and CEO of the company, is taking on the challenge of two major problems; UK energy customers being consistently overcharged while more than a billion people around the world are living every day without access to energy at all.
She says the profit-with-purpose company will inject a new energy into an industry that is not adapting to global energy needs.
‘People in the UK are fed up of the same old story out of the energy industry, it really feels like groundhog day,’ says the Manchester Business School MBA graduate.
‘We’re here for those conscious consumers who want a good deal, but also want to use the power of their purchase to do some fundamental good in the world.'
Latham insists the company will provide a competitive deal for customers on their energy bills while also addressing a major global challenge.
‘With more than a billion unconnected people around the world, making a simple switch here at home will turn on the lights for villages in Africa for the very first time.
'What’s more, we'll connect our customers with the villages they powered and use impact reporting to show the difference you can make without changing your daily routine,’ Cheryl adds.
An image of the earth at night, which shows Africa still in darkness, with other countries shining bright with light, inspired the entrepreneur to create her start-up along with a trip to Kenya while still on her MBA course in May.
She says that Africa is about three times the size of Europe, yet it is still in almost complete darkness, with two thirds of people in this vast continent living without electricity and having to resort to using expensive and toxic kerosene lamps.
‘Energy is life changing and my trip to Kenya was a stark reminder of this – meeting children who were desperate to learn and fisherman who wanted to grow their businesses but needed light and refrigeration.
'Brighter World’s ambitious aim is to put an end to the use of toxic kerosene and to meet their energy needs with affordable, reliable and clean energy. Everyone should have the same right to access energy, no matter where they are born.’