Exciting news for Little Sun in Senegal: The team won the innovation competition for access to energy organized by the UNDP – United Nations Development Programme! The allocated 40,000 US Dollars grant will help us further our mission of empowering local entrepreneurs by providing them with sales training and solar products to sell.
Thanks to the grant, the team in Senegal will be able to train hundred local entrepreneurs in the coming months, mostly in women’s groups across Senegal. The trainings will notably take place in Thiès, Fatick, Tambacounda, and Kédougou.
In Senegal there are 7,2 million people living without access to the electrical grid This lack of electrical lighting leads to the use of candles, flashlights or kerosene lamps, which are expensive, unsafe and noxious both for the health and the environment. In addition, people have to walk far to get to a power station and be able to charge their phones. These conditions keep them in the vicious circle of both energetic and financial poverty. We have been involved in Senegal for more than four years, now counting a hundred active entrepreneurs in our network, to reach communities in remote areas and make solar energy access a reality.
The competition organized by UNDP aimed at promoting the acceleration of inclusive businesses to promote access to solar energy by the Senegalese population. Among 20 companies in total, 5 candidates have been allocated a 40,000 US Dollars grant for their efforts in the field.
With the money received, the Senegalese Little Sun team, Joan and Fatoumata as well as Samuel from the Berlin team went to Fatick in June to have a first training session . Around 30 participants were there to learn about solar energy and learn sales techniques. These trainings are the perfect opportunity for the future sales agents to spread the word about access to sustainable energy, improve the livelihoods in rural areas, whilst making an extra income. By selling Little Suns in remote areas, these entrepreneurs become solar ambassadors and make a remarkable impact on the local economy.
Women entrepreneurs play an essential role in democratizing and promoting safe and sustainable lighting solutions. Sadio Sylla is a distributor in the Tambacounda region and traveled a whole day to share her experience with newcomers.
“The main reason I sell these products is not financial, I am simply proud of being involved in the project and having a positive impact on my community”.
The Little Sun team was super happy with the outcome of the training – since the workshop in June, several new sales agents already sold their initial batch of lamps and are reordering.
Since 2014, our entrepreneurs network – mostly women – has helped us selling more than 17,000 solar products across Senegal. Our hope: reliable, sustainable and cost-effective energy solutions in every household in Senegal – and around the world!
Photo credits: Eva Grommes