Trade not aid

We believe that universal access to renewable energy is the best way to alleviate poverty. The best way to ensure universal access to energy is by building local, sustainable businesses.

SolarAid does charity differently. We have adopted a model where we create a local market which allows our solar lights to reach those places and the people that the traditional market do not reach. It gives our beneficiaries ownership over their lights. We believe in Trade not Aid.

Our Social Enterprise SunnyMoney was set up in 2008 and is one of the main sellers of solar lights in Africa. SunnyMoney Agents travel to remote rural communities to make clean light available where there were previously only unhealthy and expensive alternatives, like kerosene lamps and candles. They help instil trust and create demand in a new and unfamiliar technology – which helps build the foundations for a sustainable solar market and a lasting energy legacy.

"Most of the customers don't have electricity, they need battery torches. I’ve been telling them to get solar lights because it will reduce the cost. When they use torches it means that every time there will be a cost in terms of battery. Things are changing, the world must go solar."
- Mwaba Yaba, Solar entrepreneur, Zambia

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