Being an entrepreneur is the key in today’s life story. With the growing rate of unemployment, less jobs each day, less pay, many a youth have taken to the street languishing in poverty and hunger; one individual refuses to meet this ultimatum and has decided to shape his own career path. Meet Mlamba John Alfred Minango, a second year student at University of Dar es Salaam pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance together with his friends Elifadhili Shaidi, Makondose Senteu, Nelson Maleko who have setup Jesen Energy; an alternative to using firewood and charcoal for cooking. Buckle up for its going to be a bumpy one!
Good evening, Mlamba. We have heard about Jesen here and there can you tell us about yourself and your company.
Well I am a young and aspired youth who believes in integrating changes that are around the world and me myself; I live to inspire and be aspired plus empower others as well.I am a frontrunner in all diversities in the world and I believe in working by them to change for good.
Jesen Energy Company has invented a solution to save the community by reducing cost and reduce the global effect of deforestation.Our motivation is to solve problems facing Tanzania in the energy sector. Currently we are solving the problem of inefficient cooking stoves, which are widely spread in Tanzania, by providing affordable, environmental friendly and efficient stoves.
Thats a great initiative. What problem required Jesen Energy as a solution?
There are four main problems we have identified. These are:
- Current stoves have high heat loss, resulting in the usage of a lot of charcoal.
- Inefficient stoves cause people to spend more time cooking food than needed
- People spend a lot of money buying many stoves for different sizes of pans
- High rate of deforestation for charcoal production
Solution: The solution is the creation of a stove with adjustable plates to accommodate for pans of different sizes. Additionally, strong insulating material contains the heat produced and directs the heat towards the surface, increasing the efficiency of the stoves and promoting usage of briquettes instead charcoal.
How does your product work?
The stove consists of removable cylindrical tubing plates of different sizes. These plates fit into the stove. The plates and the sides of the stoves are lined with an insulating material.
The stove will function in such a way that the user decides on the size of plate to use in accordance to the size of pan/pot he/she plans to use.
For a person using a small-sized pan, they will insert the small sized cylindrical tubing plate into the stove and then place a little charcoal/briquettes inside the tube. He/she will ignite the charcoal/briquette and place the pan onto the plate. Therefore, the pan used will determine which plate to use.
For example, a middle-sized pan will use the middle-sized plate. When the large-sized pans are used, all plates are removed and the stove is used as a whole. Moreover, the person will be able to control airflow into the stove according to his/her experience, plus the additional guide on controlling airflow in the manual for some common foods, which will be provided along with the stove.
What Challenges are you facing?
Competition in the market is tight. Funds and branding are also hard to come by.
What is your current status of the company and what are your future prospects?
We are on making charcoal briquettes and few stoves initially. Our vision is to become a leading company in provision of energy services and consultancy.
Where did you get the idea and inspiration for your company?
Well we got it from participating in a program at the summer 2017 called the Cambridge Development Initiative where we got to draft our ideas from the energy track we were placed in.
Any advice for fellow youth?
Keep up the struggle for opportunities and never lag behind.
Thanks for your time Mlamba. Keep up the good work.