Monday, December 10, 2012

New Field Partner: Solar Sister brings light, hope and opportunity to sub-Saharan Africa

We are SO excited to announce our newest Field Partner, Solar Sister!

This incredibly vibrant organization is building bright futures for women in Africa with solar technology. Utilizing a business model similar to the Avon-style sales network, Solar Sister empowers women entrepreneurs, giving them the tools they need to sell solar lights, mobile phone chargers and other products in remote and low-income areas.

In sub-Saharan Africa, women make up 70% of the people living without electricity and are also the primary decision makers when it comes to choosing solar lighting and heating over the standard kerosene. For these reasons, Solar Sister sees women as the key to ending energy poverty and kerosene dependence as both sellers and buyers.

Solar Sister provides the women entrepreneurs in its network with education, training and a "business in a bag" filled with products from a range of brands, including Kiva Field Partner Barefoot Power, solar lantern maker D.light Design, Greenlight Planet and others.

The impact is incredible. When customers use solar lamps and replace expensive kerosene, there is a 30% reduction in household expenses. Additionally, this allows for three more hours of study time for children every day without risk of respiratory disease or burns.

One of Solar Sister's entrepreneurs, Zuura in Uganda, has been involved since 2010. As a nurse, she knows the importance of light, especially when women are giving birth. "Light equals life," she says.

Kiva is providing loans to Solar Sister entrepreneurs at 0% interest for terms of 10 to 18 months. With these loans, women can buy and sell their inventories, re-pay Solar Sister and access more funds.

By supporting Solar Sister, you invest in women and change many more lives at the same time.


Want to learn more about Solar Sister? About Kiva's impact in Sub-Saharan Africa? Email us at
Photos and videos courtesy of Solar Sister.