By Ange de la Victoire Dusabemungu
On Thursday, 23rd November, 2023, during a podcast conversation at the Africa Business Heroes Summit which took place at Kigali Convention Centre, Mrs. Chebet Lesan, CEO of BrightGreen Renewable Energy, shared her insights on entrepreneurship resilience in Africa and the importance of doing social good through business ventures.
Lesan began by recounting her personal journey in establishing her green energy company, BrightGreen.
She emphasized that her motivation stemmed from recognizing the unrecognized yet significant tasks that African women, including her own grandmother and mother, undertake for the benefit of society.
She highlighted how her resilient grandmother, who used dangerous fuels for cooking, managed to raise a son who became the first doctor in Kenya to perform a heart transplant surgery.
Lesan believes that the sacrifices made by African women are often overlooked, and she aims to shed light on their contributions through her work at BrightGreen.
Chebet Lesan, is the founder and CEO of BrightGreen Renewable Energy and the winner of the second edition of Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Business Heroes.
Lesan’s company focuses on addressing the overlooked issue of cooking in African households.
She believes that cooking, despite not generating revenue, is of utmost importance as it ensures the welfare of people.
BrightGreen aims to prioritize and revolutionize cooking practices, making it a top priority within households.
When asked about the keys to success, Lesan emphasized the importance of self-awareness as an entrepreneur.
She emphasized the need for entrepreneurs to understand their business needs as they grow.
Additionally, Lesan highlighted the significance of finding the right investor who shares the same values, vision, and expertise.
She stressed that values form the basis of every decision made in a business, and misalignment with an investor can lead to problems.
Lesan also underscored the importance of having knowledgeable individuals on board who understand the industry and can assist with proper allocation of resources for growth.
Lastly, she highlighted the essential factor of time, as it often takes longer than anticipated to achieve goals.
“Entrepreneurs need investors who are flexible and willing to invest their time into the business.” She said.
Lesan acknowledged that finding all these factors in an investor can be challenging, but she believes that investments are not scarce if the business is the right fit.
She encouraged entrepreneurs to persevere in aligning all four key factors—values, vision, expertise, and time—with potential investors.
Mrs. Chebet Lesan’s journey with BrightGreen Renewable Energy serves as an inspiration to African entrepreneurs looking to make a difference through their businesses. By embracing resilience, social good, and aligning with the right investors, entrepreneurs can create impactful ventures that contribute to the betterment of the society.