Project Description


“Knowing that I spend the day saving others, is something that I am passionate about, at the end of the day, a business should always be able to change people’s lives”
Light bulbs have been going off for Patrick Ngowi since he started his first business at 15.

The founder of the Helvetic Group of Companies, the fastest growing network of equity holders in renewable energy in East Africa, Ngowi is a serial entrepreneur passionate about lighting up the continent.

When Ngowi realized only 14% of Tanzanians had electricity, he had to do something. He founded Helvetic Solar Companies, and eventually Helvetic Group which today has a revenues of $8 million. His companies handle the supply, installation, and maintenance of renewable energy and conduct feasibility power studies.

He isn’t just passionate about business, he’s passionate about the growth and development of East Africa. He started the Light for Life Foundation, a non-profit social enterprise which provides free solar energy for women and schools in Tanzania while creating sustainable business opportunities through mobile phone charging points. Light for Life is funded by his full gross salary and the corporate social responsibility of Helvetic Group of companies and has reached over 1,000 beneficiaries.

Little did his first investor, his mother, know when she gave him a $1,800 loan sell mobile phones, that renewable energy in Africa would never be the same.


  • World Bank and IMFAnnual Meeting on the Youth Dialogue panel on Inclusive Growth and Entrepreneurship, 2014
  • Harvard Africa Business Conference
  • The African Development BankAnnual Meeting Kigali, Rwanda, 2014
  • Spoke alongside Al Gore at the first ever Climate Reality Leadership Corps in Africa held in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Oxford AfricaConference held at the Oxford University, 2015


  • East Africa Young Business Leader of the Year Award 2014
  • Top 100 Young Economic Leaders 2014 – Choiseul Institute, Paris, France
  • Top 100 Most Influential Africans 2013-2014