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. This creates sustainable income and business opportunities for the entrepreneur as well as, customers rather than beneficiaries.
We work with local schools and head teachers to build trust and demand for solar lights. This model has reached over 11 million people with solar light.
Without access to electricity, health facilities are unable to provide access to modern healthcare. SolarAid has committed to ensuring that no clinic in Africa is left in the dark, without access to light and power.
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).
Tackling Solar E-waste
What happens to our solar lights once they stop working? How can we keep them from contributing to Africa’s growing e-waste problem? These are questions that SolarAid is working on through its new e-waste project in Zambia.
For the poorest families, even the most affordable solar lights available remain out of reach. A Light Library is like a book library, but for solar lights!
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.
We have created the first ever energy cooperative in Malawi – FEBCO. The innovation has been designed by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.
Light a Village
Our latest innovation, Light a Village, aims to light up 500 homes, a whole village, in Ntchisi, Malawi. Every home will receive a solar home system for free and pay for their energy usage on a pay as you go basis.