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Solar entrepreneurs

At SolarAid, we believe the best way to make long-lasting change is through creating a local market. We do this by training and supporting entrepreneurs to sell solar lights. Not only does it create sustainable income and business opportunities for the entrepreneur, it creates customers rather than beneficiaries. Although the entrepreneur structure differs between countries, what they have in common are SunnyMoney teams working tirelessly to support them with their business as well as educating and training new entrepreneurs.

This model creates possibilities for us to reach those at the very last mile. To help with this, innovative solutions are constantly being developed and tested.

Our entrepreneurs programmes

Microfinancing

We have created the first ever energy cooperative in Malawi – FEBCO. The innovation has been designed by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.

Mayi Walas

It has been shown that women are key change-makers in providing energy access to rural communities and we recognise that having women at the forefront of our work is essential to achieving our mission. SolarAid launched the Mayi Walas programme, to recruit, train and support women entrepreneurs to run solar light businesses across rural Malawi.

PAYG entry level lights

One of the biggest challenges to widespread rural access of solar lights is affordability. While the cost of manufacturing solar lights has reduced dramatically in recent years, even the most affordable solar light is too expensive for many families where we work. One of the innovations to overcome this problem is to move from one-off cash payments to Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG).

"My plan is to help more customers. Solar is saving money. Before we were using solar lamps, we had to buy candles every day, it was costing a lot of money."
Mirriam Phaninga, Malawi