Episode 48: Interview with Xavier Helgesen, Co-Founder and CEO of distributed renewable energy company Off.Grid:Electric

Xavier is the Co-Founder and CEO of Off.Grid:Electric, a distributed renewable energy company operating in Arusha, Tanzania.

Off.Grid:Electric radically reduces the cost and risk of adopting solar energy for off-grid households worldwide, allowing them to replace kerosene with solar for as little as $2.50 per month.

Xavier is a serial social entrepreneur. Prior to setting up Off.Grid:Electric he co- founded Better World Books, a $60 Million triple bottom line online bookstore that has raised over $11 Million for literacy around the world.

In this interview, Xavier discusses:

  • The potential pitfalls of setting up a for profit company with impact
  • The critical importance of getting the business model right
  • Brutal realistic about cost base
  • The critical importance of getting the pilot stage right
  • Why Off.Grid electric is increasing the pace of experimentation
  • The importance of doing research on the ground