Solar Sister illuminates the lives of three million people in sub-Saharan Africa with solar products
The Solar Sister network of women entrepreneurs has brought clean energy to three million people. Now three million more people can breathe easily, their children can study at night and get a better education, and their day doesn’t end when the sun sets. Communities are thriving, and women, in particular, are safer and have a better chance for equality. Access to energy is a crucial element of social equity and poverty alleviation.
“Without the solar lights, our health clinic relies on mobile phone light. We were virtually unable to treat patients at night. This makes it especially difficult for expecting mothers to deliver in our clinic at night.” Dr. Crispian Ndibalema, a leading physician at Mafuleta Clinic, Tanzania
Delivering access to energy to people in underserved communities opens up economic opportunities for women and has a positive impact on the women, their families, their communities, and even the world at large. When women have more agency they make better choices for their lives, including caring for their families and communities. When they have income of their own they invest in better education for their children, better healthcare for themselves and their families, and accumulation of savings to build resilience.
Solar Sister invests in women’s leadership and enterprise in off-grid communities. By engaging with women who deeply understand their communities, Solar Sister reaches people who have been missed by business-as-usual energy models. Centering women as leaders in the growing clean energy sector is essential to eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable solutions to the climate crisis and many development issues.
Nanbet is a young maize farmer and single mother raising five children in a rural Nigerian village with no electricity. She’s one of 6,800 entrepreneurs trained and supported to run clean energy technology businesses. Since Nanbet started her business, she’s brought in enough income to stop laboring on other people’s farms. She earns an income to provide for her family and says people see her differently now that she is a businesswoman.
“Before, my life wasn’t like this. People have since been surprised to see my children and me with meat on our bones, looking healthy. With the profits from selling solar lamps, I paid for two grandchildren to go to school. “
About Solar Sister:
Solar Sister drives impact by investing in women’s clean energy businesses in off-grid communities in Africa. Solar Sister eradicates extreme energy poverty by empowering African women with economic opportunity, providing essential services and training that enable women entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses. Solar Sister is a climate solution that also improves human well-being, boosts equity, and helps usher in prosperity for people in sub-Saharan Africa who are least responsible for the climate crisis. To date, over 6,800 Solar Sister Entrepreneurs have reached over three million people with clean energy access. Products sold by Solar Sister Entrepreneurs have eliminated over 946,763 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Thank you to all of our hard-working Solar Sister entrepreneurs, Business Development Associates, and staff.
Twelve-year-old Musa Simon uses one of the family’s solar lamps to study at night in the family hut in Tanzania. He is sitting in the hut lit by the solar lamp, and it is dark all around. He lives in the savannah in Tanzania.
Nigerian Solar Sister Entrepreneur Nanbet Magdalene with a customer who purchased a clean cookstove.