Company Name:Powerlive Zimbabwe
Dive into the next chapter of our HER Success Stories as we spotlight the remarkable journey of Sharon Yeti, the tenacious CEO at the helm of Powerlive Zimbabwe. A beacon of hope in the realm of sustainable energy, Powerlive Zimbabwe is a for-profit, women-led social enterprise that champions change. Under Sharon’s leadership, Powerlive sells, distributes, and installs high-quality decentralized energy systems on a Pay As You Go (PAYG) basis. But it’s not just about power; it’s about empowerment. Through a network of rural women’s social groups, Powerlive is lighting up off-grid households, small-scale farmers, and schools in the rural and peri-urban areas of Zimbabwe, making a significant impact on lives and communities.
Could you share your personal journey in becoming an entrepreneur and what inspired you to pursue your current business?
My journey to becoming an entrepreneur was not an easy one, as I did not grow up in an environment that fostered this skill. The fact that I was a woman wanting to venture into a male-dominated industry did not make things any easier. Around the time I started Powerlive, there weren’t a lot of mentorship programs for women, and it was difficult to raise funding as you had to prove yourself twice as much. The inspiration for me came from my childhood upbringing, where the passion to make a change and empower women came from as we are affected the most by energy poverty. I’m a big believer in that one person, one action, can have a ripple effect that can make a difference. If you empower one woman, a whole generation is empowered.
How has your background and life experiences influenced the mission and values of your company, and the impact you aim to make in the world?
My background and life experiences have made me want to make Powerlive the go-to place for energy products for women and everyone included considering I grew up in a home where the alternative sources of energy took more from us than it gave. The focus was also to empower women and for them to know that anything is possible.
What are some of the achievements or milestones in your business journey so far? Can you share an example of a project or initiative that you’re most proud of?
We have managed to successfully close the EEPAfrica project that ended in 2022 after distributing over 5000 solar home systems and productive use energy appliances. We also have over 200 women entrepreneurs whose different projects we continue to support. I am most proud of these women entrepreneurs that we work with. Their lives have changed so much for the better, and it gives me great joy knowing that I have made a difference in their lives because this change is going to have a ripple effect that is going to benefit their children, grandchildren, and other women living in their communities.
Can you describe the challenges you faced during your entrepreneurial journey? Did you encounter any specific gender-specific challenges? How did you overcome them?
The main challenges I faced were:
- a) Not being taken seriously because I was a woman in the tech industry who also didn’t have a lot of background in that area as well.
- b) Stereotyping: Getting into the rural areas and introducing Powerlive and the intention of working with women wasn’t taken seriously as the men thought that I was not doing what was expected of me as a woman, so I faced a lot of resistance.
- c) Raising funding was also difficult for women-led organizations
- d) Lack of mentorship programs for women: There weren’t a lot of mentorship programs for women, so it was not easy to find women one could relate to.
How I overcame them:
It wasn’t easy, but I guess resilience paid off. I didn’t give up because I knew what I wanted to achieve.
In terms of funding and mentorship, there has been more awareness in terms of mentorship and funding targeting women-led organizations which has helped tremendously as more women are stepping up and finding the courage to do what they want.
What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur that you would like to pass on to others considering a similar path?
There is a quote by Carl Jung that says, ‘The world will ask you who you are, and if you don’t know, the world will tell you.’ I think knowing who you are and what you want is very important, and the main thing is to NEVER EVER give up. You are going to have some difficult days, but they should not discourage you because it’s all part of the process; if anything, these moments should clarify things for you.
Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals for the future and how do you plan to continue making a difference through your work?
I plan to continue working with more women, increase the number of entrepreneurs to 5000, focus more on personal growth, and do better.
As we wrap up this empowering edition of HER Success Stories, Sharon Yeti’s dedication to transforming lives through Powerlive Zimbabwe shines brightly. SIMA Funds proudly stands behind this for-profit, women-led social enterprise that is breaking barriers and bringing energy equality to rural and peri-urban Zimbabwe.
A heartfelt thank you to Sharon Yeti and Powerlive Zimbabwe for proving that sustainable energy isn’t just about watts and volts; it’s about empowering futures. Until our next installment, keep dreaming big and supporting the incredible women making waves in the world.
Stay tuned for more stories of resilience, innovation, and female empowerment.
About Powerlive Zimbabwe
Powerlive Zimbabwe is a for-profit, women-led social enterprise making waves in Zimbabwe’s power landscape. Founded to empower women and combat energy poverty, Powerlive Zimbabwe is led by the resilient CEO Sharon Yeti. Specializing in the sale, distribution, and installation of high-quality decentralized energy systems on a Pay As You Go (PAYG) basis, Powerlive stands at the forefront of redefining energy equality. Through a strategic network of rural women’s social groups, Powerlive illuminates off-grid residential households, small-scale farmers, and schools in rural and peri-urban Zimbabwe. As a SIMA Fund venture, Powerlive is not just a company; it’s a catalyst for positive change, lighting the way for a brighter and more empowered future.
For more information, please visit https://www.powerlive.co.zw/