Model & Strategy

Jaza Energy provides access to clean and affordable energy for rural, low-income households in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their home power pack rental service is 100% women-operated and has been designed to serve homes that earn less than $2 a day. At the end of 2022, Jaza powered over 115K people, resulting in 11,191 CO2 in offset emissions by replacing kerosene with solar power. They are on track to power over 211K people by the end of 2023.

The Problem
In Sub-Saharan Africa, 600M people currently live without access to electricity. Electrification rates fall as low as 3.4% in rural areas, and in those areas connected to the grid, service is often intermittent and unreliable. Over 125M households in Africa lack access to affordable clean energy, and over 70M off-grid households earn less than $2 per day. In Tanzania, these rural off-grid communities comprise 81% of the population.

Over the past decade, efforts have been made to extend grid access, yet the pace of progress has been overwhelmed by high population growth. The number of people without access to electricity is expected to remain at current levels well into the next decade. Access to clean, reliable, and affordable energy (Sustainable Development Goal #7) results in reduced rates of poverty, increased opportunity, and improved health and productivity. Existing energy solutions are expensive, unreliable, and have not been developed to meet the specific needs of rural, low-income, and economically vulnerable households. Generic solar home systems often fail within six months, and pay-as-you-go options can be unaffordable for consumers at the base of the pyramid.

The Solution
Jaza Energy has developed an innovative battery swap business that provides clean solar energy to last-mile rural Tanzanian and Nigerian households earning less than $2 per day. Jaza operates a physical network of solar-powered village hubs staffed by local women, which serve as both the battery charging station and the point of customer engagement and service. By providing access to affordable, clean energy to customers at the base of the pyramid, Jaza reverses the cycle of energy poverty and combats the adverse environmental and health impacts of kerosene usage. Additionally, by recruiting and training local women, Jaza empowers rural women from marginalized populations to uplift their communities. Known as Jaza Stars, these women are both literally and figuratively sources of light in their communities.

After careful site selection, Jaza joins a last-mile community by delivering and unboxing a ready-made hub with solar panels, a large backup battery, charging stations, and internet connectivity. Each solar hub charges and recharges battery packs that are deployed to power customers’ homes. Over the past 12 months, Jaza has also used energy hubs to power telecommunication towers which are currently powered by generators, furthering the company’s reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Jaza is on a mission to empower the 1.2B people living without electricity. They are starting by powering the 160M people currently living without access to electricity in Nigeria and Tanzania.



At a Glance
Founded: 2015
Co-Founder & CEO: Jeff Schnurr
Environment & Climate Change
Location of work: International, Africa
Jaza Energy
Tanzania, Africa
Building a network of renewable energy hubs in communities beyond the electrical grid.
Meet Jeff Schnurr

Jaza is led by co-founder and CEO Jeff Schnurr, an experienced entrepreneur with a deep history in Tanzania. Prior to Jaza, Jeff founded and served for ten years as CEO of Community Forests International, a nonprofit that connects people to the forests that sustain them in Tanzania and has empowered communities to plant more than 3 million trees. In 2015, Jeff was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.


At the end of 2022, 115,725 people powered by Jaza technology; on track to power over 211K people by the end of 2023

156 women employed as Jaza Stars

11,191 CO2 in offsets from replacing kerosene as a lighting source