Bright Lights, No City: An African Adventure on Bad Roads with a Brother and a Very Weird Business Plan

By Max Alexander

The hilarious tale of 2 brothers, a truckload of batteries, and a super plan to deliver light--and new enterprise opportunities--to Ghana

At age forty seven, Whit Alexander, the yankee co-founder of the skull board video game, determined to begin a brand new enterprise promoting reasonable items and companies to low-income villagers in Ghana, West Africa. His brother Max, a journalist, got here alongside to inform the tale. Neither of them can have expected simply how a lot of an event they’d locate there.

In Ghana, Whit's preliminary aim is to industry a top quality rechargeable AA battery that off-grid villagers may use to strength their flashlights and radios, in addition to to cost their cellphones. If winning, he deliberate to develop a bigger for-profit company in line with these batteries--creating a depended on African model that will supply life-enhancing items, companies, and jobs, with no hoping on charity.

Ghana, besides the fact that, offers amazing demanding situations, and the brothers salary day-by-day battles opposed to lethal bugs, insane using stipulations, unspeakable nutrition, voodoo monks, corrupt officers, counterfeiters, and ethnic rivalries on their strategy to luck. From signing up buyers who earn a couple of cash a month at such a lot to education staff without Western-style paintings adventure, the brothers fast study that beginning a company in Africa calls for single-minded concentration, a feeling of humor, and many patience.

Along the best way, Whit and Max relive their very own early life, bickering around the African bush and studying very much approximately Africans in addition to themselves. Irreverent, hilarious, and eventually inspiring, Bright lighting fixtures, No City demanding situations authorised notions of charity, indicates the ability of broadening your horizons, and means that there's desire and chance in Africa.

Praise for Bright lighting, No City:

"An affectionate, good-humored and eventually inspiring account of 1 American's choice to make good stuff happen."
--Kate Braestrup, long island instances bestselling writer of Here if you want Me

"My boss, invoice Gates, coined the word 'creative capitalism' to motivate using marketplace forces to deal with the desires of the terrible. yet my pal, Whit Alexander, moved inventive capitalism from rules to daring perform. Bright lighting, No City will scratch your go back and forth malicious program, tickle your online business mind, and contact your heart."
--Patty Stonesifer, former CEO of the invoice & Melinda Gates Foundation

"I completely loved this experience, which is helping to turn out that what a lot of the constructing international wishes is a hand up, no longer a hand out."
--John wooden, founding father of Room to learn and writer of Leaving Microsoft to alter the World

"I enjoyed, enjoyed, enjoyed Bright lighting fixtures, No City. A travel de strength! Bravo. it really is perceptive, informative, considerate, attractive, funny."
--Carey Winfrey, editor emeritus, Smithsonian journal and previous Africa correspondent, New York Times

"Max Alexander has woven a compassionate and oft-times hilarious story of the Brothers Alexander's try to shop the realm, one rechargeable battery at a time. when you've got any curiosity in an outstanding tale or assisting the opposite four billion, learn this ebook, now."
--W. Hodding Carter, writer of Westward Whoa and A Viking Voyage

"A lyrically written common testimony to the humanity that binds everybody jointly in this fragile planet, Bright lighting fixtures, No City is a deeply relocating and humorous, can't-put-it-down book."
--Frank Schaeffer, writer of Crazy for God

"This booklet is full of the eagerness and incessant pursuit that it takes to make desires come to lifestyles, and reminds you that it takes compassion, good fortune, and humor to make heritage. A needs to learn for each entrepreneur."
--Richard Tait, Co-Founder, skull; CEO, Galazo

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Any concept how that’s operating immediately? ” “It ain’t pretty,” responded Jan. “July profit was once thirty-one pesewa according to battery. ” “Ouch,” stated Whit. “It’s not easy to determine how that sustains our company, long term. ” At one aspect he had get a hold of a determine of 50 pesewa in step with battery per 30 days as a base line. Calculating that the Koforidua department may perhaps help at the least 300 brokers if the routes have been designed good, and figuring an ordinary of 1 hundred batteries in line with agent, a fifty pesewa common may yield profit of fifteen thousand cedis according to month—a actual enterprise, in different phrases. “Well, take note, we’re giving freely plenty of loose coupon books to chiefs, queen moms, and early life leaders within the new villages,” Jan countered. “So we’re doing loads of promotions instantly, and that’s skewing the quantity. ” “Can we simply run a trailing thirty-day so we don’t need to wait until eventually the top of each month for an replace? ” requested Whit. “That will provide us a significant quantity we will be able to always music. ” “What does that suggest? ” requested Kevin. Whit and Jan jointly defined the idea that of a trailing thirty-day common, and that i might see a flash of perception in Kevin’s eyes; he acquired it instantly, yet it appears not anyone in his earlier company occupation had ever stricken to give an explanation for it. “Speaking of promotions, we have to ship one other all-agent textual content message,” acknowledged Jan. * “We’re operating a four-coupon bonus promoting until eventually the top of September and giving brokers an additional cedi for each buyer they convert from the previous application. ” “I can do that,” acknowledged Whit. “Is the agent touch details in Fodder up to date? ” “As a long way as we know,” stated Jan. “Okay, let’s circulation directly to our per 30 days targets. we now have twelve days last towards our objective of twenty new brokers in August. thus far we’ve additional 11. How’s that going? ” Kevin and Rose particular their plans for including numerous new brokers by means of Friday. “How some of the first brokers have switched over their consumers to the hot application? ” requested Whit. “There are nonetheless many extra to go,” stated Kevin. “Only of twenty-six were switched over to date. Jonas and Yirenchi. ” “What’s our aim for overall conversion—end of September? ” acknowledged Whit. “Right,” acknowledged Rose. “So we have to remain enthusiastic about that whereas additionally education new brokers. ” “And we have to ensure the new brokers are signing new clients,” acknowledged Jan. “I imagine customer progress might be our major target in October, and we’ll have to get a hold of a few new merchandising. Now I’d wish to spend a couple of minutes speaking in regards to the coupon stock. these coupon books are like cash, and so they have to be lower than lock and key. I created a database for dealing with the stock, yet Adam, you’ll have to oversee it. ” Adam, the twenty-eight-year-old accountant, used to be quite often quiet yet may be made to snort simply. Tall, rangy, and good-looking, he lived along with his brother (a pupil on the neighborhood polytech, the place Whit had searched in useless for activity applicants) and wore immaculately pressed shirts and slacks. After graduating from Accra’s Institute for Chartered Accountants, he labored because the finance officer for early life Empowerment Synergy Ghana (YES Ghana), an area NGO.

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