LookSee has partnered with Standard Bank’s Enterprise Development division to help 12 South African SMEs become certified solar system installers.
The programme focuses on small businesses that are at least 51% black-owned and supports these businesses throughout their journey to becoming sustainable, qualified solar system installation specialists.
“The energy crisis presented us with the opportunity to make an investment that could have an impact on multiple levels: easing the strain on the power grid, uplifting SMEs, improving household access to dependable solar solutions, and, of course, contributing to the fight against climate change,” said Naledzani Mosomane, Head of Enterprise Development at Standard Bank.
“Working with LookSee’s services partner, 4-Sure, we identified promising SMEs that would make the most of a solar training programme and the high-quality certification that followed.”
About the certification
The training offered through the programme are delivered by leading solar system installation training provider Green Solar Academy and those that pass the exams will receive a PV GreenCard certification from the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association.
The courses are taking place over an intensive three-month period and focus on imparting both technical and practical skills that will provide tangible benefits to each small business.
“We have focused on ensuring the training each SME receives is high quality,” said LookSolar Executive Head Marc du Plessis.
“With this training, our small business partners receive technical training as well as hands-on experiential learning through the use of dummy roofs and distribution boards – ensuring they are equipped to handle real-life challenges.”
Making an impact
Once an SME has completed its certification, there will be many opportunities to take on new work.
“We don’t leave our SME partners to their own devices,” said du Plessis.
“These qualified businesses are added to 4-Sure’s panel of solar installers to give them access to opportunities and help them grow their businesses sustainably. This is the very same panel that LookSee uses to deliver our home solar installations.”
Mosomane agreed, adding that the programme aligns strongly with Standard Bank’s focus on nurturing a sustainable South African economy.
“Whether these businesses join 4-Sure’s catalogue of service providers, or continue to stand by themselves, they will be able to say that Standard Bank has vetted them,” said Mosomane.
“This is important, as customers are becoming wise to the fact that they should only work with accredited, trusted solar system installers.”
“Furthermore, because this is a programme with 12 SMEs, not thousands, we can walk the walk with each business, engaging with them regularly and assisting with their specific needs,” Mosomane said.
Standard Bank’s commitment to sustainably was last month recognised in the 2023 Qorus-Accenture Banking Innovation Awards when LookSee was awarded silver in the Social, Sustainable, and Responsible Banking category for its work in making solar power more affordable and accessible to South African households.
“Social, sustainable and responsible banking is essential in the African context; however, we were the only African institution to make it to the top 9.”
“This international recognition from our peers shows us that we are on the right track as we continue our focus on delivering home solar solutions that protect from families from power insecurity today but also offer benefits that will be felt by generations to come,” said du Plessis.