Mrs. Habiba Ali: Providing quality solar service through Sosai

Mrs Habiba Ali, Managing Director, of Sosai Renewable Energies has been with the renewable energy industry since 2005. She started by working with Developmental Association for Renewable Energies (DARE) as a co-founder and National Coordinator. Where she worked on the CDM project Efficient Cook Stoves for Nigeria, The Solar Lamps Assembly and sales training programme, the Solar Dryers for Healthy foods project and a host of others. With the knowledge and experience gathered, Habiba branched out to handle the commercial aspects of the renewable energy industry by launching Sosai. Sosai Renewable Energies offers efficient, reliable and sustainable products for example solar lamps, solar home systems and water filters to the people of mostly the rural and peri-urban communities of Northern Nigeria. She possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, A master’s in Banking and Finance and is currently at the Dissertation level of a PhD in Management (Finance). She has also acquired training in Energy and Environment like Energy for Sustainable Development at the University of Lund Sweden; Gender in Energy and Environment: Energia; Formulating proposals for CDM Projects: at the University of Twente, Netherlands; Entrepreneurial Management: Enterprise Development centre Lagos.

Sosai Achievements

Currently active as the Managing Director/ CEO Sosai Renewable Energies Company Nigeria, Sosai together with its Partners C-Quest LLC are implementing a nationwide POA for improved cook stoves in Nigeria. Sosai recently won the Nigerian Institutional Clean Cookstove Acceleration Scheme (GiZ and Ministry of Environment) and is currently empowering communities and businesses with solar technologies ranging from roof top solar, Solar home systems, 10Kw Micro Grids for communities, Solar Dryers and Integrated Energy Centers.

Business Growth

For the growth of the Sosai Business, I have had to pivot several times; I currently do not limit us to only projects that ensure energy to the community for lighting and home use alone. We are setting up solar-powered Productive use energy hubs for women to run businesses like Solar drying, Solar Irrigation, Solar Milling, and more. We are also seeking support from organizations like USTDA to do feasibility studies across 100 communities to bring about a result that defines the best energy solution. We are constantly reviewing and changing our processes and policies to suit current realities and opening up for support, for example, one given by Kiva to have Open Capital Advisors work with us to improve our financial Modelling. We also took on the services of Sima Advisors to help understand and set a standard for our Unit economics. When all strung correctly together will catalyze the growth we seek at Sosai.

Economic Challenges

Business, admittedly, in the last few years has been nothing less than brutal. Coming out of COVID, harsh economic challenges stalled not just the business but the opportunity to position Sosai well enough to attract the right Kind of support that would yield growth. It is beginning to seem like we can work around this, though.

Women At Top Positions

For a woman or man to be at the top, one must prove their worth and value in the industry, regardless of gender. Women tend to work twice as hard, honestly, to get the same recognition as men, but I believe consistency and drive get one noticed, and carrying out one’s responsibilities with integrity also helps immensely

Positive Change

This is a tough one as I am one woman, and I am not sure if other women want what I want but I see Nigerian women, and I see their drive to better their lot as such, I would like to opine that where given a chance, women can and will bring about positive change and growth-oriented to Nigeria.

Portfolio Expansions

For Sosai, we have a job to power at least 100 communities from the ongoing feasibility studies implemented by the USTDA-sponsored project on our behalf. We will raise financing to do this while also seeking additional communities as we go on to reach our target of bettering the lot of 100,000 women in Nigeria through renewable energies.

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