As we eagerly await the next batch of sales figures about our millionth solar light sale, we have an announcement of a slightly different nature to make. SolarAid and SunnyMoney CEO, Steve Andrews, has decided to move on to pastures new.
Steve joined SolarAid back in October 2010 when we were selling around 2,000 lights per month and still puzzling over how to scale-up our operations. Steve leaves an organisation that is now selling around 65,000 lights per month, which is the largest distributor of solar lights in Africa and is set to enter a new phase of operations on the back of an amazing 12 months.
After being based in Kenya for the last 3 and a half years, Steve and his family have decided to return to the UK to plan their next venture. So as the sun begins to set on a remarkable chapter in our evolution; a new opportunity is on the horizon, for both Steve and for SolarAid.
Speaking from SunnyMoney’s Nairobi headquarters, Steve said: “I am incredibly proud of the team that is achieving this spectacular growth; we are on track now for an Africa free of kerosene lanterns by 2020, our ultimate mission. Building the SunnyMoney operation has been a truly great adventure”.
SolarAid Chairman Jeremy Leggett said: “It has been an amazing experience to see the charity grow under Steve’s leadership. When he joined we were a small team wondering how best to make a contribution to Africa’s development challenges; and now we are an award-winning organisation using a powerful business-based approach delivering remarkable social impact at scale.”
This is truly an exciting time here at SolarAid. We’re waiting to find out if we’ve sold our millionth light, we’re in the process of expanding in to two new countries and are just about to begin a sector wide research project on solar and poverty alleviation in partnership with Google.
Steve will remain with us until a successor is appointed. The new CEO of SunnyMoney will join a fast growing organisation that’s having a huge impact. The task ahead won’t be without its challenges, but it certainly presents an exciting opportunity. Steve leaves an inspirational legacy. One million solar lights is a fantastic milestone; but it is only the first leg of the journey, a journey that will span a whole continent.
The next step: a further one million lights in the next 12 months. The foundations for a sustainable market are there, but we’re going to need your help to build it.
Make sure you stay with us for the next million.