AD3 - CawdNet Enterprises - Investment opportunites to enable small and medium enterprises
Enabling SMEs in rural Nigeria
CawdNet is uniquely placed to support the development of SMEs, Small and Medium Enterprises, in rural Nigeria. CawdNet is firmly based in rural communities in various states in Nigeria. It knows local people, situations and needs. It has extensive experience of capacity building through micro-credit and training. It has pioneered effective communication links. It has an extensive network of key people in the rural communities. These people are beyond the reach of the telecommunications infrastructure, so cannot be reached by phone, fax or email. Even the postal service is unreliable. Personal contacts are the key to effective communication in these areas, and CawdNet has the contacts. CawdNet is also active, through the Internet with “the connected community”.
This makes for a powerful network for setting up new enterprises.
CawdNet is looking at various business initiatives, which are a natural development of its present work. These can be considered under two broad headings, distributed and centralised.
Distributed enterprises build on the micro credit work but take it a step further. Microcredit tends to be used for very small, one-person initiatives, like petty trading and soap making. CawdNet wants to move that up a stage. The distributed enterprises will be slightly ambitious, but building on CawdNet's established strengths and experience. CawdNet will provide a one-stop-shop and a sheltering umbrella for the set up and support of the small businesses.
The example of mini-solar production
Most of the people in rural Nigeria are served badly or not at all regarding mains electricity. As a result many of the devices that they use are battery driven, and recharging batteries is difficult, if not impossible. A workable solution is to re-charge using solar power.
In Kenya there is a small business, which assembles “mini-solar” devices. These devices enable people to use solar power to charge the batteries for their torches, radios, walkmen, phones and so on. The raw materials for the solar “panels” are off-cuts that might otherwise be wasted, so they are comparatively inexpensive. The end products are affordable and in demand. In the Kenyan example the assembly unit is at an orphanage, where it is successfully providing income.
CawdNet would like to set up a number of similar businesses scattered over the various states where it is active. CawdNet would provide the initial training, business plans, the loans necessary to get started, ongoing support, help with marketing as required, and a source of components needed in the assembly process.
CawdNet is in a good position to learn about business initiatives, goods and services, that are working well elsewhere and adapt them to the needs of rural Nigerians. These will be ordinary centralised enterprises, and require little explanation here.
For example there is a successful business in South America, built on an imaginative approach to implementing domestic solar in an affordable way. The idea might transfer well to Nigeria, but first we need to do market research to compare the South American and Nigerian situation regarding present outgoings on candles and kerosene
CawdNet Enterprises offers unique opportunities for people wanting to invest in the future of rural Nigeia