Patrick Ngowi


At age 15 Patrick started with supplying mobile call credit to local vendors in his country Tanzania, to importing cheap mobile phones which was scarce at the time. After he started selling mobile credit, he saw that not so many people in his hometown had phones, as phones were expensive. Then he started importing and dealing with cheap mobile phones which he mostly sold to rural people at Age 18. He started this business with a $1,800 loan from his mother and a free air travel ticket to Hong Kong from a close friend. His target was the poor people in the country who couldn’t afford phones and he sold 5000 cheap mobile Phones worth $20 in a year!

Shortly after he ventured into the mobile phone business, he noticed that most of his customers did not have enough power to charge their phones then he came up with another idea. This problem provided the inspiration that opened his eyes to the huge potentials of solar power and the lucrative opportunities it holds in Africa’s future. At age 19, he saved enough money and enrolled in Dezhou University China, where he went ahead to learn about the subject of solar energy to build the solid technical knowledge he needed to succeed in the solar power business.

He returned to Tanzania and started Helvetica Solar Contractors, where he has installed thousands of small rooftop solar systems and also in several other African countries. He installed many of these systems in the same communities he sold his cheap mobile phones.

In 2011, the company registered $2.8 million in revenues, then $6.8 million in 2012 and had prospects of $10 million revenues in 2013.

In 2013 he was featured by Forbes as one of the 10 young African millionaires to watch, His company was ranked at the top of KPMG’s East Africa’s survey of Top 100 Mid -sized Companies in Tanzania, 2012.

Patrick’s company boasts of high profile clients like The Tanzanian Government, United Nations, World Vision and the Tanzanian Army.  The product range he offers includes: solar water heaters, solar batteries, solar mini-generators, street lights, gadgets, power back-up systems, accessories, solar fridges and freezers, charge controllers and other renewable energy alternatives.

Patrick is also the founder of Light For Life Foundation (Funded by his personal salary), which has provided over 1,000 solar panels to women and  young people in off-grid communities in Tanzania.

Patrick Ngowi is a problem solver and a Social Entrepreneur.



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