Solar energy could be one of the most effective solutions for realising reliable, accessible energy in Africa, and Atalor Ngozi Deborah is on the front line, pursuing a “dream of taking solar energy to every home in Nigeria.”

Atalor, founder of De-rahbs Energy Services, won Merit place in the 2017 Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators competition. In addition to the US $5,000 prize money, her win has and gained her the nickname ‘solar lady’ with the Nigerian press.

De-rahbs installs, services and repairs solar energy equipment. Through an innovative business model, it is able to offer affordable solar energy solutions on a small scale, in particular empowering families and businesses in more rural areas to adopt the technology. A low-cost solar energy payment plan provides an affordable option for customers with limited income. The business also provides training to future engineers and energy entrepreneurs.

After winning the Award, De-rahbs received coverage across Nigeria’s national Press, including Vanguard, the Guardian, Pulse and the Independent, as well as appearing in a Shell Nigeria campaign promoting innovative energy entrepreneurs. Atalor was championed as a successful, female entrepreneur with a strong social purpose, ‘solar lady’.

De-rahbs Energy Services went on to win again with Shell LiveWIRE in December 2017, taking home one of three top prizes at a Shell #makethefuture accelerator for young and aspiring entrepreneurs, hosted in Port Harcourt.