Flanigan's Eco-Logic

In this episode of Flanigan’s Eco-Logic, Ted and co-host, Russell Sturm, speak with Jesse Moore, CEO and Co-Founder at M-KOPA, the world leader of affordable "pay-as-you-go" financial services for low-income customers based in Africa. Since commercial launch in 2012, M-KOPA has connected, provided, and served over 3 million customers to affordable off-grid distributed solar systems and connectivity solutions, including lighting, charging, radio, TVs, fridges, and smartphones. 

Russell starts with his introduction, exploring and explaining the impressive evolution of the off-grid solar industry over the past fifteen years, which has emerged for the first time to provide power to 2 billion people who do not have access to reliable and modern energy. He then introduces Jesse to the conversation, and describes M-KOPA as a sustainable and profitable company which continues to innovate for the financially excluded.

Ted and Jesse then dive into his works, first discussing his background, originally from Toronto, Canada. He holds an MBA from Oxford University (Skoll Scholar) and a BA from the University of North Carolina (Morehead Scholar). Early in his career, with a desire to drive social impact, Jesse worked with the international development charity CARE. His work then transitioned from a strictly humanitarian focus to enterprise solutions, spurred specifically by an interest in advancing cellular connectivity in Africa via M-PESA, a virtual payment service launched by Vodafone and Safaricom in 2007. 

M-PESA offered a playbook for what would become M-KOPA, which was founded in 2010 with an idea of combining the power of digital micropayments with GSM connectivity to make life-enhancing assets more accessible. Jesse has since overseen the company’s growth from startup to over 2,000 employees and 20,000 sales agents. M-KOPA currently has offices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, UK and Hong Kong. The company has received numerous awards for its innovation, impact and scale: including winning the prestigious Zayed Future Energy Prize, making the coveted MIT Technology Review 50 Smartest Companies list, and being listed by Fortune Magazine as one of the Top 50 Companies Changing the World. Investors in M-KOPA include Generation Investment Management, CDC Group and Standard Bank, as well as esteemed entrepreneurs such as Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson and AOL founder Steve Case.

As a leader in empowering homes and small businesses through connected technology, Jesse is representative of an industry of entrepreneurs that sees the only way to address these fundamental problems within commercial markets at scale is with companies that are responsive to customer needs instead of donor biases, and are able to innovate, drive prices down, and continuously provide products that people need.

What is Flanigan's Eco-Logic?

We all want to live a sustainable life, but where do we start? Flanigan's Eco-Logic, hosted by Ted Flanigan, provides information and insights in sustainability and the clean energy space. Flanigan’s enthusiasm and vast experience in the energy and environmental arena are palpable, whether bringing cutting-edge developments to the fore, or interviewing and engaging with leading practitioners. This show is for those who want a sustainable life but don’t know where to start.