Project Seed Blog

Culture & Food

By Tara O'Carroll

I am mesmerized by the lifestyle over here. From my experience, I would say that the people are extremely warm, kind and happy. In our introductory workshop one of the poignant moments that I recall was asking the students their favourite things to do, and a common recurring theme was ' I like to smile, and see other people smiling', and I think that this sums up quite well the type of exceptional students we are lucky to be working with. As it stands, we are working with over 50 students who are all eager to learn. These students have the cultural insight and the local flare that is needed to solve the project for our client. Our role is to facilitate and mentor the students over these weeks to achieve the goals of the project.

Food here is delicious. Here in some of the pictures below you can see some of the local food we have been eating, and all at a reasonable price! The weather has been rather pleasant over here and it made adjusting to the climate that bit easier. On average the weather is 22 degrees and darkness comes down at 7 in the evening so you would notice that the people here tend to get up early and sleep earlier too.


By Tara O'Carroll

The first week has been full of action. Despite all the intricacies of travelling, lost baggage, organising workshops, and meeting the client, it has been seamless so far. We are still coming to terms with the culture shock that you are met with on arrival here. I will never forget the initial trip to our hotel with our trustee Tanzanian taxi man Michael, who is dedicated to bringing us to our destinations with our busy schedules. As we travelled through the city, we were surprised by the amount of people selling on the streets. The city on one hand could be described as a stark mixture of industrialised buildings and on the other hand there is adept poverty. From a standout point of view, the poverty in the city is not locationally split, the local poorer areas are punctuated throughout the city.

Meet the Client

By Aisling O'Reilly

During our time in Dar, we will be working with students on a client project for a local SME, called RISE.

Who are RISE?

RISE is a distribution and finance company that works with rural communities to increasing access to sustainable products and services that add value. They are currently at the pilot stage, at the end of which, they will have installed 3,667 Pay As You Go (PAYG) Solar Home Systems (SHS) to rural farmers in Northern and Southern Tanzania.  

Who do RISE help?

Many rural communities in East Africa don't have access to electricity due to the high costs of extending utility infrastructure. Instead, they use kerosene & candles for lighting, wood & charcoal for cooking and entrepreneurs lack access to affordable power. These lamps release large amounts of carbon and are proven to have a negative impact on the lungs and eyesight of long term users. It was not feasible to add the rural farmers to the national electricity grid, so RISE has developed an alternative way to give them the benefits of electricity.

Triple Bottom Line Impact

Economic: The total savings per year of TSH 302,400 (equivalent to $150.2) for some farmers will contribute an additional 50% to their yearly income which illustrates a significant impact to their socioeconomic progression.

Environmental: One RISE SHS provides three lights and phone charging capacity. After the pilot, RISE will be offsetting 3.3 tons of carbon per year from 11,001 LED lamps replacing an equivalent amount of kerosene lamps.

Social: RISE will impact 3,667 families; over 15,000 people will benefit from having access to clean, safe reliable light and phone charging. Each household replaces kerosene lighting with a SHS and has health benefits from improved lighting and reduced black carbon fumes.

Client Project

We will be running two projects with UDSM students to maximise RISE’s impact in rural Tanzania. The first is a geographical growth strategy to help RISE expand organically through and then penetrate more of East Africa. The second is a competitor analysis to give RISE greater insight into their target market.

Meet the Team

By Aisling O’Reilly


The idea for Project Seed arose in a Management Team meeting last December, where several members thought it would be a good idea to explore further. In February, a dedicated team of seven was formed to assess its feasibility and start organising the trip. Four of the team travelled to Dar es Salaam on Monday 21st June, while the others continue to support the project remotely.

Below we introduce ourselves:

Ronan Burke

Involvement in ISCG:

Ronan is one of the Co-Founders of ISCG and, as president of the group, he is responsible for the growth of ISCG from an idea to a student group with 34 students across 3 universities.  He has overseen the completion of all five ISCG client projects. 


Ronan is entering his final year of Electronic Engineering in UCD.  He is passionate about technology and previously co-founded AirNFC, Ireland's first supplier of Near Field Communication products and solutions, and CAO Points Checker, a web app to collate the CAO entry requirements for all 1,325 third level courses in Ireland. Ronan has also completed a summer internship in Deloitte’s Strategy & Operations team. After returning from Tanzania, Ronan will travel to China with Huawei to learn more about telecommunications.

Why I’m excited about Project Seed: 

“I’m looking forward to helping students create an organisation which has a real impact on local businesses as well as increasing my understanding of the African market.”

Aisling O’Reilly

Involvement in ISCG

Aisling joined the TCD branch as a Consultant in October 2015 where she worked on the TanOrganic project.  She is now head of Operations & Finances where she manages the logistics of the group, oversees sponsorship negotiations and controls the expenditure of the group.


Aisling has just completed her penultimate year of Management Science and Information Systems Studies in Trinity College Dublin.  She interned with the IT Risk and Assurance team in EY after her first year of college.  Aisling is passionate about increasing the number of women in the technology sector and is involved with Coder Dojo Girls and Connecting Women in Technology.

Why I’m excited about Project Seed

“I’m excited about empowering students in Tanzania to make a sustainable impact to their local economy.”

Jeremy Boles

Involvement in ISCG:

Jeremy was one of the first Consultants who joined ISCG.  He has worked on multiple projects including Horizon, Ballymooney and NDRC where he was Project Leader.  Jeremy is now Head of Education where he oversees the development and training of our Consultants and Project Leaders.


Jeremy is going into his final year of Commerce in UCD after completing a yearlong internship with Microsoft in the Customer Services & Solutions group. Jeremy will be the Auditor of UCD Investors & Entrepreneurs Society for the 2016/2017 academic year.

Why I’m excited about Project Seed:

“I can’t wait to collaborate with Tanzanian students and get an insight into their educational experiences.”

Tara O’Carroll

Involvement in ISCG

Tara will be establishing an ISCG branch in NUIG this coming September. She will also be leading our next Project Seed location in Peru.




Tara is currently completing a Masters in Strategy Innovation and People Management and graduated from a Bachelor of Commerce with Spanish in NUIG. She spent the academic year working as an Innovation Workshop Facilitator for student start-ups and business development initiatives. She was a key player in heading up the TEDx and Innovating events in Galway. Moreover she has completed two marketing internships and various consultancy projects as part of her masters.

Why I’m excited about Project Seed

“I am excited primarily to be part of a project that will have such a meaningful impact. I am looking forward to learning first-hand how to champion the next plan of launching the ISCG branch in NUIG. In addition to this, a great deal of attention will be paid towards evaluating the Tanzanian initiative with respect to raising the bar for the project next summer in Peru.”

Conor Hall

Involvement in ISCG

Conor has worked on the Horizon project as a Consultant and on the Ballymooney project as Project Leader. He is now Head of Partnerships where he manages the relationships with sponsors and universities.


Conor has completed a degree in Economics and Finance and will begin a Masters in Quantitative Finance, both in UCD.  He has a year of consulting experience with Accenture in both the government and analytics departments.

Why I’m excited about Project Seed

“I’m looking forward to collaborating with the University of Dar es Salaam to build a strong partnership.”

Michael Shannon

Involvement in ISCG:

Michael was one of the first ISCG Consultants where he worked on the Horizon and Ballymooney projects before being Project Leader for TerminalFour.



Michael is going into his third year of Economics & Finance in UCD.  He is interning with Deloitte this summer and will complete a yearlong internship with the Central Bank of Ireland starting in September. Michael is involved in a variety of extracurricular activities such as Model United Nations, UCD Student Managed Fund and Slingshot Academy.

Why I’m excited about Project Seed:

“I’m excited to be a part of a project that could launch the career of a Tanzanian student.”

Anton Zhereshchin

Involvement in ISCG

Anton has been a Consultant on a number of projects including Horizon, Ballymooney and NDRC. He is now Head of Special Projects involves leading smaller tasks and projects for our students when a project is not running in a university that term.


Anton has just completed his second  year in Economics and Finance in UCD.  This year he will be interning with HedgeServ as a Junior Fund Accountant.  Anton has also worked as an analyst for UCD’s Student Managed Fund.

Why I’m excited about Project Seed

“I can’t wait to be involved with Project Seed to further my knowledge on African culture and the market.”