Over 150 million people in West Africa have no access to electricity. They spend up to 30% of their incomes on poor quality, polluting fuels like kerosene, candles and batteries, and often have to travel many miles simply to charge their cell phones.
Our solar home systems power lighting, phone charging and radios – the perfect solution for an off-grid home plagued by expensive and inconsistent access to power.
The fumes created by the use of kerosene create upper respiratory infections which cause more deaths in sub-Saharan Africa each year than malaria and HIV combined. In addition, candles and kerosene cause many deaths each year through accidents that result in fires. Since women and children spend more time in the home, they are disproportionately affected.
The use of solar home systems completely eliminates these risks.
Families without access to electricity spend so much on energy that they often cannot afford to provide the light their children need to study at night. Recent studies have shown that access to solar not only increases the amount of study time children have (and particularly girls), but it also improves their grades at school.
Less than a third of West Africans have bank accounts, and many of our customers are completely shut out of the banking sector. By providing products on credit, we can start to build up a credit history for our customers, who pay us over a 12-month period using mobile money.
Our business is focused on helping off-grid households gain ownership of productive assets that they want and need. In the context of solar home systems, every mobile money payment to us is a payment towards outright ownership. After 12 months, the customer owns the product. We expect them to save up to $1000 over the life of the system because they no longer have to purchase kerosene, candles or batteries. That's a pretty big deal for a household which earns $3-$10 per day.
In this way, we are taking a household’s perpetual spending on poor-quality, polluting fuels and using it towards building asset ownership over 12
We expect to eventually employ close to a thousand people in each country we operate in. The majority of these jobs will be in rural and peri-urban areas where opportunities are limited. In this way, we expect to contribute significantly to the communities we are aiming to serve.
We invest significantly in training and development of our people, and believe that our team is our best and most valuable asset.