Updated Jan 15, 2021

The SunnyMoney Way

https://solar-aid.org/

Emily Bellis

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SolarAid's unique market-based model has reached 11 million people by working through schools and entrepreneurs to build trust and demand for solar lights in rural Africa.

We provide access to the most affordable, quality solar lights in the poorest rural communities through our market-based model – The SunnyMoney Way. Step One – Schools Campaigns: The first essential step we take when bringing solar lights to a community is to build trust in the technology in partnership with the Ministry of Education. By working with headteachers, trusted community members,...
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We provide access to the most affordable, quality solar lights in the poorest rural communities through our market-based model – The SunnyMoney Way. Step One – Schools Campaigns: The first essential step we take when bringing solar lights to a community is to build trust in the technology in partnership with the Ministry of Education. By working with headteachers, trusted community members, we raise awareness and encourage trust in solar products and this builds initial demand. Step Two – Agent Network: Once demand takes off we build an ecosystem of sales agents ensuring anyone who wants a light can get one, developing our agents and creating jobs. The SunnyMoney teams drive demand, and then focus on another region, and then another. As demand for solar lights snowballs, private companies begin to see a profitable opportunity, and join us in meeting this demand – a solar market is catalysed. By supporting local entrepreneurs, our sales agents, we can ensure that a sustainable market will continue to serve rural families long after the presence of an organisation like SolarAid is necessary. Our aim is to leave a legacy of solar markets across the continent – ensuring that by 2030, no one is left in the dark.
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MLC Vanguard
  

Stage 6: Sustained Scale

The SunnyMoney Way has reached 11 million people with clean, safe and affordable solar light and played a key role in catalysing Africa's first 2 solar markets (Tanzania 2015 and Kenya 2016). We are now innovating to reach those beyond the market.

Focus Areas:

Energy, Entrepreneurship, Solar and 6 MoreSEE ALL

Energy, Entrepreneurship, Solar, Economic Growth and Trade, Education, Air Quality, Economic Empowerment, Lighting and Climate Change and ResilienceSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and 2 MoreSEE ALL

Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and UgandaSEE LESS

5
Countries Implemented In
2,000,000
Customers
36
Employees

Problem

600 million people are living without electricity across sub-Saharan Africa. They have no choice but to rely on candles, poor quality torches and worst of all kerosene lamps to escape the dark. These filthy devices are imperilling health, impairing education, wasting income, and emitting astonishingly high amounts of carbon into the atmosphere – whilst putting lives in danger, every single night. The latest projections are that by 2030, the deadline for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there will still be 600 million people left in the dark. Many other solar companies and aid initiatives focus on larger, more expensive solar products such as solar home-systems. These are simply unaffordable for millions of families and we are not reaching the poorest fast enough.

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Solution

With a solar light, everything changes: • One whole household has clean, safe and affordable light • 1,000 extra study hours are created for children • $194 saved by families through not having to buy kerosene, candles or batteries • Over half the household experiencing better health with less eye and respiratory illness • 1.1 tonnes of CO2 emissions averted

Target Beneficiaries

We work to reach the 600 million people currently left in the dark across sub-Saharan Africa. These are families who do not have access to electricity, and are either forced to use dangerous and unsustainable alternatives or simply have no light after darkness falls – cutting their days short and limiting opportunity. Almost all of SolarAid's customers, rural African families, live below the poverty line. We are constantly working on ways to bring the affordability barrier down, so that the poorest rural families can access solar lights – this is our target population. We know that a solar light is used by, and benefits every member of the household, and therefore our target population is not age or gender specific.

Mission and Vision

SolarAid’s mission is to ensure that by 2030, no one is left in the dark. We are working towards this goal by providing access to solar lights in the poorest, hardest to reach communities in rural Africa, through our unique market-based business model The SunnyMoney Way. From 2021, we are building on the SunnyMoney Way to launch innovations designed specifically to reach the poorest so that no home, no school and no clinic is left in the dark by 2030.

Competitive Advantage

As a charity that owns a social enterprise, we are different to any other solar lighting organisation. Because we are funded by philanthropic donations rather than private investment we are able to focus solely on our goal rather than making a profit. This enables us to spend more time and money in reaching the poorest rural communities with affordable solar lights.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Whilst the SunnyMoney Way has been effective in reaching 11 million people, we know that even with the most affordable solar lights a market-based approach will not reach the poorest. We are now pioneering innovations to run alongside the SunnyMoney Way, designed to power the poorest families out of the dark.

Milestone

Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Uganda
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Tanzania
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Zambia
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Malawi
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Kenya

Supporting Materials

The-SunnyMoney-Way-orientation-null.docx.pdf
SolarAid-SunnyMoney-Way-infographic-orientation-null.pdf