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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Nigeria's Hannah Kabir - Solving Electricity/Energy Challenges With Cleaner Alternative Technologies

Meet Hannah Kabir, the CEO of Creeds Energy Nigeria, a renewable energy solutions
provider. The young entrepreneur, in a recent interview with Whoot Africa spoke about her passion and vision of enriching lives by addressing electricity and energy challenges with cleaner alternative technologies. Read excerpts below:

Did you know you were going to be an Entrepreneur all along, or did it happen by chance? Also, tell us more about your leadership style?
I would say entrepreneurship for me happened by chance- I wanted to be the bringer of light in every home, to tangibly relate my work and efforts to the positive impacts on the lives of people. The only way I could do that was to create a space for it. I don’t think I have a particular leadership style. I tend to operate openly, I would like to believe I am result oriented and demand that from my colleagues, so when something needs doing we all work as a team to get it done, no airs or labels. Perhaps you would have to ask my colleagues on this one.

What do you love most about your business and your life as an Entrepreneur? What drives you?

I like challenges. Every day for an entrepreneur operating in Nigeria comes with a different Pandora’s box. As an entrepreneur, you are simply a Do-It-Yourself person because you get involved in all the dimensions of a business. I’m an implementer by nature; I enjoy doing rather than sitting back. I like interacting with people, getting to understand their challenges, learning from their experiences and having the ability to offer solutions gives me joy.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and Creeds Energy as a brand you represent?
I am a renewable energy entrepreneur. I founded Creeds Energy in 2012 with a single vision of enriching lives by addressing electricity and energy challenges with cleaner alternative technologies.
Essentially, Creeds Energy is a renewable energy solutions provider, primarily driven by the need to mainstream green alternatives that are environmentally cleaner, more energy efficient and provide better value for money. 

Our solar packages are designed to provide electricity, water pumping and heating for homes, businesses, schools, organizations and communities either as back up to grid power or stand alone solutions independent of the grid supply. Creeds Energy also engages in product retail- solar portable lights, improved cook stoves, professional renewable energy advisory, research and consultancy to individuals, national and international organizations.

What do you think are the most important personal skills someone must have to be successful in business?
A few that come to mind are that one should absolutely love or have a passion for what he/she does, have integrity, be able to take calculated risks and be self-driven.

What was the BIGGEST risk you’ve taken?
Quitting my full time paid job without knowing for certain what would come.

What do you think about college education? Should kids go to college now or get into business if they feel it’s a better choice? Considering some of the world’s greatest never had college education, your thoughts?
I continuously have to revise my thoughts on education but here is what I think- education is a means to an end not an end in itself. Although some of the worlds greatest didn't have to go to college, I think they represent the exception or genius bracket. In most cases, the environment that they live in is supportive of creativity and cutting edge inventions; this is hardly the case here. It is necessary to develop skill sets or strengths which get one through the door(s). However, knowledge and learning does not necessarily reside within the four walls of a classroom or “conventional education system” as we know it.

What would be the most important piece of advice you could give to young entrepreneurs and why?
I've only been an entrepreneur for three years now, so I am still learning and evolving. My two pennies worth: Be patient, dogged, focused but flexible. There is no short cut to finding success; it will be hard and testing. Ask for help, be curious- no one knows it all, and take inspiration from others. Listen powerfully within and outside – always go back to the reasons why you started, filter out the noise and find clarity within your inner voice.

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