Millions of people across Nigeria still have no access to energy. In a country of more than 180 million people, over two-thirds are either not connected to the electricity grid or receive less than four hours of power from it each day. Building a country-wide power grid remains a national aspiration that might take a generation to achieve due to a lack of infrastructure. And this all comes at a time when demand for energy is increasing.

Addressing this challenge requires innovation. That’s why, in 2016, Shell provided seed funding for All On, an independent impact investing company based in Nigeria.

village view
Through their work with Green Village Electricity, All On is helping to provide energy to off-grid communities

Investing in impact

The focus of an impact investing company is to create positive social and environmental impact as well a return for investors.

They do this principally by investing in organisations that have measurable social or environmental goals. Any financial gains made by the impact investing firm are then re-invested into other such projects. All On invests in businesses, technologies and new energy projects that could accelerate Nigeria’s access to reliable, clean and affordable energy sources.

Such businesses include Lumos, a solar energy company which develops home systems to provide off-grid households with electricity, allowing people to replace expensive (and often hazardous) kerosene generators and lanterns with solar power. All On invested in this company in 2017.

All On has also supported organisations like Green Village Electricity, Nigeria’s leading mini-grid company. Green Village Electricity installs energy grids in local communities, allowing for the independent generation and exchange of energy.

Developing energy ideas

Through debt and equity investments in such companies, All On is helping them develop, grow and deliver much-needed energy to more people across Nigeria. But All On’s work is not just about developing existing firms. Nigeria’s access to energy problem also requires fresh thinking.

Co Creation Hub is a business incubation hub in Lagos, Nigeria. It is a space where entrepreneurs can gather to share ideas and trial new technological innovations. In 2017, All On provided Co Creation Hub with a grant to support ten new companies that are working to improve energy access.

All On has also signed a three-year partnership with the United States Africa Development Foundation, an agency established by the US government to support and grow African-owned enterprises. Through this organisation All On is helping to fund 30 Nigerian early-stage companies in their quest to develop new energy solutions.

Sustainable collaboration

Supporting organisations like All On is just one of the ways Shell helps to further economic and social development in the countries where it operates.

“Innovation in business is not only technological. It's also about how we engage our communities,” says Andy Brown, Shell’s Upstream Director. “Our work with All On is an example of how Shell looks at solutions to complex challenges like access to energy with a view to building shared value in the local communities where we operate.”

#OnForAll

More in Sustainability

You may also be interested in

Keeping the classroom cool

Energy-rich Iraq has suffered from daily power cuts for years. Now the situation is improving as steady gas supplies help to generate more electricity. Read the story on Inside Energy.