“My personal mission is to bring groundbreaking innovative solutions to communities and industries across Africa that add value to people’s lives while advocating for gender equality,”
- Diana Mbogo
2023 WE Empower Finalist, Sub-Saharan Africa
As a single mother of two with seven years of entrepreneurial experience, Diana Mbogo knows how to take care of business. She built Millennium Engineers from the ground up into the successful endeavor it is today. The company creates personalized renewable energy solutions for their clients with the goal of helping their community transition to solutions that benefit both the members and the environment. She has faced challenges in various aspects of her life as an ambitious woman in business, but these challenges have only motivated her to advocate for diversity and inclusion in her professional and personal endeavors.
Developing Personalized Solutions
Millennium Engineers is a Tanzanian renewable energy company that specializes in solar and wind energy technologies. They develop customized projects for their clients’ businesses based on the specific nature and needs of the company, creating solutions that balance considerations of cost, culture, efficiency, and the environment. “We are determined to make an impact on increasing food security, alleviating poverty, and improving business value chains by providing sustainable and affordable energy solutions,” says Mbogo. Millennium Engineers are specialists in discovering untapped energy poverty markets in different sectors. There are endless seemingly small transitions that can be made across sectors to make ultimately large impacts on communities and the environment.
Benefits for Human and Environment
An example of one such transition is in the Tanzanian fishing industry. Currently, fishermen spend 40 percent of their monthly profits on the pressurized kerosene lanterns they use when fishing at night for sardines. Not only that, but these lamps risk their health and lives while contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. A proposed solution developed by Millenium Enterprises is to rent out solar lamps at a rate of one dollar a night. The monthly fishing cycle is composed of 18 nights, so whereas the kerosene lamp costs $40 per month to run and maintain, the solar lamps would cost just $18. As such, each boat stands to save over $2,000 a year. In this way, through projects like these in several different sectors, Millennium Enterprises promotes SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and SDG 13 (Climate Action). “At Millenium Enterprises we recognize the urgency of taking action to address climate change. By providing renewable energy solutions, we help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change. We prioritize sustainable practices throughout our operations and supply chain to minimize carbon footprint,” says Mbogo about her company.
Millennium Enterprises also puts SDG 5 (Gender Equality) at the forefront of their operations. It is 100 percent women founded and led and 50 percent of the managerial positions are filled by women. They prioritize working with suppliers and partners who share their commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment. “As we lead the transition to renewables, we envision creating a future where the youth, particularly young women, play a significant role in co-designing innovative solutions that solve pressing energy problems in their communities. The energy sector is very male dominated, which brings into question the sustainability of the solutions most often proposed, considering those most affected by energy (women and youth) were not involved in the development process,” shares Mbogo. Her company has mobilized 50 young local women in the Mwanza region and provided them with entrepreneurial skills, sardine processing knowledge, and trading and financial literacy.
By Samantha Chapman, WE Empower Intern