Hanatu Joseph is a teacher, a hair stylist, a mum and a clean energy entrepreneur! She finds joy in lighting up her community.
Hanatu is from Garaku, a peri-urban settlement that sits on the outskirts of a regional town in central Nigeria. Most people here are farmers, artisanal miners, or they work for government ministries.
Beyond the grid
In the main town, there is electricity. But few people in outskirt areas like Garaku have access to electricity. The grid does not reach the surrounding villages. So Hanatu loved the idea of starting a clean energy business!
As a widow with two children, aged 16 and 11 years, Hanatu has a lot of responsibilities and wanted to increase her income. She became a Solar Sister entrepreneur in 2018 because she saw that the products are durable and hoped it would be a good way to make extra income for herself and her family.
Hanatu launched her business and now moves around a lot. She hops on the back of motorcycle taxis or catches the local minibuses to get her products out to different communities.
Her big dream is to grow a sustainable clean energy business, train her children and also remarry. Being an entrepreneur means a lot to her.
I’ve been able to know new places, meet more people and interact with them and the profit helps pay school fees for my little boy and also my house rent.
She believes Solar Sister has impacted her community because people in Garaku and nearby communities now have an alternative power supply for lighting and phone charging.
“When there is no power, people take their phone to commercial chargers, or will put on a generator which brings about noise pollution.”
Hanatu uses these reasons and more to persuade people of the savings they will make if they invest in her solar energy products.
A thing of joy
Here in Garaki, Hanatu see herself as an agent of change:
My customers, those who buy products from me always thank me for introducing them to renewable energy because they now save more and they enjoy their products.
This is a thing of joy to her and she hopes to do more to impact her community.
Written by Abisola Adeoye, edited by Fid Thompson. Thanks to Hanatu Joseph for sharing her story with us.