Have you noticed anything new on the platform, especially concerning KEEF’s loans? The pictures appear differently than they did before! This is because KEEF, one of MYC4’s partners has partnered with Solataa, a company based in Kenya, to promote renewable energy usage in Kenya and especially solar energy. Solataa is a social enterprise in Kenya that endeavor to enhance the living conditions of low income earners by coming up with ways of enabling and encouraging them to save for the future. Solataa is a local partner for Little Sun in Kenya. Little Sun which was officially launched in July 2012 in London distributes these solar lamps to Solataa who in turn distribute to their partners e.g. KEEF.
Little sun is a social business that produces little solar lamps and distributes all over the world. Shaped in a hand-sized sun – Little sun is a beautiful yellow high quality solar lamp innovated by engineer Frederik Ottesen and Olafur Eliasson. Little sun lamps have currently been distributed in Kenya, Uganda Burundi, Senegal, South Africa, Zimbabwe, USA, Japan and Europe. These lamps are sold at affordable prices and the profit is ploughed back to the business. This is so that the business is able to produce more solar lamps so as to achieve their mission of providing a solution for the need of light to the low income people in the world and especially those without electricity. There are 1.6 billion people in the world with no access to electricity and Little sun aims at providing a lighting mechanism, (Solar lamps) to them hence enabling them continue with their daily businesses effectively.
How KEEF and MYC4 will initiate this
MYC4 together with KEEF have devised a way of incorporating little sun into the loans. For every loan uploaded, the client will receive a little sun solar lamp. It will cost the borrower KES. 1000 (approximately 10 Euros); this amount will be included in the loan. The borrower will then repay for the lamp with the loan installment. This will benefit many business people who usually use kerosene to light their homes and business premises. The money used for kerosene will therefore be saved for other important needs. This however is being introduced in phases and currently some borrowers have adopted to Little sun and it is expected that more will in the course time. One of KEEF’s borrowers had tried being innovative by creating a lunchbox lamp that uses batteries, little sun will benefit him as he will not need to buy batteries and little sun lamp is brighter
Below are statements from KEEF as well as Solataa’s Deepali on why they chose to partner with little sun.
Deepali Gohil Solataa’s Vice president – Operations
Solataa is dedicated to the economic empowerment of people through dependable, sustainability technologies. People increase income either through new livelihood activities or reduction in spending. Solataa focuses on both. We create new livelihood opportunities by creating networks of micro-entrepreneurs at the village level, who are trained in sales and service of solar lanterns. Displacement of harmful kerosene lamps with locally available solar lanterns then creates savings for individual households by reducing daily spending on kerosene, health costs and increased business and educational hours. The unsolved lighting solution for the Base of Pyramid isn’t just designing a great lamp. It’s designing a great business model to get them to the grassroots to help empower people. Solataa seeks to achieve this.
Daniel Kimai, KEEF’s CEO
The loan package which includes a solar solution (little sun) to the rural poor ensures that the KEEF/MYC4 partnership not only delivers loans but promotes the use of affordable green energy. Cheap, clean and renewable energy will enable people make immense savings on fuel costs hence aiding in eradication of poverty and improve living standards
One of the KEEF’s borrower’s on MYC4 was so excited and had this to say about Little sun.
Usually I wake up really early to milk my cows so that i can deliver to the customers in good time. Looking for a lamp early in the morning can be hectic sometimes, other times the lamp doesn’t have paraffin, and one has to go buy delaying in the process. Now I just need to make sure that my little sun charges during the day and i have up to 10 hours of light with no hustle.