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Passing The Torch

Holding an MP4 video player in his hand, Kevin Lowther, MyPower Solutions CEO, called Sipho Mseleku, head of the Global Business Roundtable (GBR) to the stage at the 5th Annual GBR Leadership Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa held September 24 to 26.

Lowther announced to the crowded room, “Anyone who holds this technology holds the ability to change the continent of Africa.”

As Sipho took the MP4 video player from Kevin’s hand, the hundreds of conferences attendees, representing over 22 plus countries in Africa and Europe, erupted into cheers. The moment marked “a passing of the torch” to GBR as they prepare to launch MyPower Solutions, Africa.

Excitement built throughout the conference as Kevin and Trip showed the GBR membership the first MyPower Solutions franchise unit that was shipped from the US and setup on site for the conference, and explained everything from the business model to the solar powered panels. Kevin and Trip met new partners, including leaders with a bank that represents 38 African countries, who are interested in assisting businesses and individuals with micro-finance loans to fund MyPower Solutions products and franchise purchases.

The summit allowed GBR leadership to catch the vision and commit to heading up the franchise rollout in their respective countries. Now, both the Master Franchise Agreement for the Continent of Africa and the franchise disclosure documents, which allows people in the US to purchase franchise units to put into the hands of missionary’s in Africa are in the hands of attorneys for final review.

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Global Business Roundtable

Trip Critz, MyPower Solutions CFO, and Kevin Lowther, MyPower Solutions President, are in Johannesburg, South Africa with the Global Business Roundtable (GBR), a “God-centered and inspired global business networking initiative” with a membership representing 32 African countries. GBR is soon to be the owner of the Master Franchise Agreement for Africa.

While in South Africa, Kevin and Trip are attending a GBR leadership conference where they are personally meeting with 128 GBR of their leaders. They are taking them through the MyPower Solutions storefront that was shipped to Johannesburg earlier this year and using the face-to-face time to explainthe details of the technology and the business plan.

The original plan for MyPower Solutions was to focus on Kenya establishing 851 franchises in five years. With GBR’s launching of MyPower Solutions, Africa the projection for franchises is 900 by the end of 2015 and possibly as many as 50,000 in five to eight years. In November, Trip and Kevin are scheduled to return to South Africa to train the first MyPower Solutions, Africa franchise owners.

Unprecedented Time
All of this progress is occurring against the backdrop of an unprecedented time of friendship between the US and Africa. President Obama’s US-Africa Leaders Summit held last August recognized Africa as one of the fastest growing regions in the world. The conference cemented an American commitment to work with African leaders to maximize sustainable economic growth that promotes peace and prosperity while opening new opportunities for African entrepreneurs.

“The summit illustrated the need for accelerator programs that empower entrepreneurs,” Trip commented. “With the success of the summit, we feel more confident than ever that Poverty Dignified through companies like MyPower Solutions is perfectly positioned to answer the need that can bring real change not more band aids to Africa.”

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MP4 Opens Doors in Kenya

Most people don’t realize that Kenya is recognized as the innovation hub of sub-Saharan Africa. Overall, Kenya is an African country with a stable government that has made strategic investments in its economy. The result is growth in a number of industry sectors that include infrastructure, finance, transportation, communication, agribusiness, energy and manufacturing.

While economic opportunity is increasing in Kenya, the reality is that without more educational opportunities many people in the rural areas of the country may be left out. As Kevin and I talked with government officials, financial leaders and bankers at the Doing Business in Kenya forum in Washington D.C., they realized MyPower Solutions’ MP4 players are just the tool they need to deliver educational materials to rural communities.

Kenya’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Authority expressed an interest in rolling out 50 of our stores. They want to place them near schools to make the educational resources as accessible as possible. We are planning an initial skype meeting and a future trip to Kenya to work out the details.

A major food company talked to us about using the MP4 format as a vehicle to provide farmers with the knowledge they need to more efficiently work the land and produce higher yields. We also met officials from the Central Bank of Kenya. As they learned about our franchise structure, they saw the potential for our stores to drive customers, and for their people to benefit from access to education materials available in a rechargeable, digital format.

Training up farmers and empowering children and adults proves that our MP4 video players and tablets are powerful tools. Tools that can drive local economies, move farmers toward sustainability, and bring children and adults into their country’s innovative culture.

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12 Days in Africa

He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds . . . .” Matthew 14:19-20 (NASB)

When Christ fed the 5,000, he demonstrated that the size of a person’s gift is not important. He taught that what is crucial is to give in His name expecting through faith that any gifts will be multiplied exponentially.

Visiting Africa drove this point home to Kevin and Trip like no other experience in their lives. For 12 days, they met from early morning to late at night with high level executives from government organizations and financial institutions as well as many high-net worth investors.

Bread and Fish

The organizations Kevin and Trip met recognized that MyPower Solutions has the potential to change Africa on an individual and a community basis. They committed to working with them to drive the business across Africa to create needed jobs and to foster commerce and education.

A few results from the meetings included:
* An African power company wanting to use their own funds to take MyPower Solutions into rural areas
* A banking partner willing to support the creation and management of the micro-loan program
* The partnership with shipping container refurbishing companies and manufacturing facilities in Africa.

“The foundation is being laid for these opportunities and others to mature so that we can multiply the ability of MyPower Solutions to raise people out of poverty and despair and into hope and prosperity,” said Kevin.

Sharing with the Crowds

The original plan was to roll out MyPower Solutions in one country and develop the business there for a year before moving to a second country. After visiting Africa, Kevin and Trip learned that ICAN and a strategic partner are forming a new company. That company will hold the master franchise agreement that will allow licenses to be sold throughout Africa. Work is underway to finalize the master franchise agreement and negotiate a roll out in three African countries.

Over and over again, Kevin and Trip were told that MyPower Solutions will change Africa by bringing opportunity for self-sufficiency to individuals and commerce to communities. Just as Christ demonstrated so long ago, they learned first-hand when gifts and resources are shared in faith, God multiplies the impact.

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