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Ann Kihengu

Founder of Prian Ltd

Ann Kihengu is currently the Founder of Prian Ltd. Prian is involved in the distribution of solar products throughout all regions in Tanzania by activating unemployed youth to become entrepreneurs through selling its products. Initially Prian distributed solar lights form D.light design but has recently expanded to other products following market demand

Ann confesses that one of the most important things that life has taught her is listening to her inner voice in whatever she does. This is what led her to start her career as a social entrepreneur against her family and friends wish and advice.

Ann has learnt to take responsibility of her life and the life of others and she strongly believe that change comes from within a person and that everyone is responsible for their financial, health, spiritual and general well being.

Looking at the challenges facing her country Ann deeply feels she has a role to play in bringing change. For instance 89% of the population has no access to electricity; on the other hand out of 1 million youth who finish school looking for employment only fifty thousand succeeds. Connecting these two challenges she started Prian Limited in 2009, a for profit company to distribute affordable solar lights and phone chargers to the rural Tanzania through a network of unemployed youth whom she coaches to become entrepreneurs in their local communities.

Within a year Prian managed to sell over 10,000 lights to the rural Tanzania, Prian aims to grow this number to five hundred thousand lights and expand its current network of 18 entrepreneurs to a network of over 500 youth by 2015 and bring safe light to over 1 million people in rural Tanzania.

Ann’s goal is to grow Prian and see that the young entrepreneurs grow by identifying the demand of the market and bringing to the market what is required and hence a brighter Tanzania. Ann says ”We will solve one problem at a time, we have begun with bringing light, now we are expanding to larger power needs, there are still a lot of opportunities and problems to be solved but we say one step at a time.”

In 2010, Ann was the Laureate of the Cartier Women's Initiative Award.