In the very truest sense of the word, Power A Life is a tech company. It just so happens that they’re also a social enterprise.
From the story of how the business was created to the products that they make and the approach to funding (and investment) that they employ, they’re doing something that very few people are doing right now.
For Jeremie and Stephen, it began with a trip to West Africa in 2012. Taken aback by the extreme poverty they experienced in West Africa, they developed Power A Life in partnership with the schools they visited in order to create a business that would directly benefit and empower children in Africa.
Over the course of the next year they made a couple of trips to Africa to work with teaches and communities to discuss how the lack of light affected children and school. Then, in September 2013, Power A Life was born. The idea was simple – to give children in West Africa solar lights in order to improve their abilities in school, which in turn would empower them to continue their education.
In September 2015 Power A Life launched and with it they debuted their first product, the wee PAL – a small, portable battery that you can use to charge any device over USB. With every wee PAL purchased, one child is given a solar light.
In this episode I speak to Jeremie Warner, one of the co-founders of Power A Life. Our interview not only covers the beginnings and ethos behind Power A Life, but also their funding model, the challenges of sourcing tech products when your competition is big tech companies like Apple and Samsung, investment, social impact and much, much more in this very open and wide ranging chat.