Friday, April 20, 2012

Kiva Scholar: Innovative financing for green entrepreneurs

Remember the proverb about teaching a man to fish? Well, social enterprise Solar Sister is teaching women to "fish" while promoting the use of sustainable energy.

In this edition of Kiva Scholar, we’d like to share an article published on the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor’s blog (CGAP) about Solar Sister, a company that is using clean technology to provide sustainable business opportunities to women in Africa.

Solar Sister offers women in rural Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sudan the chance to start their own businesses selling portable solar-powered lighting products. Because women have historically had less access to financial services than men in many African countries, Solar Sister aims to lower the financial hurdles faced by female entrepreneurs through a micro-consignment “business-in-a-bag” model.

The “bag” includes a full start-up kit: training, marketing support, and access to inventory. Solar Sister clients earn a commission on each sale as they repay for the cost of their inventory. This kind of innovative financing promotes not only financial inclusion, but also a clean green economy.

Head over to CGAP's microfinance blog to read the full article, and share your thoughts with us at!

We value being in tune with the latest news on microfinance and poverty alleviation. Kiva Scholar is designed to share research and developments in the field and open the conversation up to you!