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Friday, October 3, 2014

Solar Light Libraries, A Social Business effort at Sustainability in Africa 10-04

Solar Light Libraries, A Social Business effort at Sustainability in Africa 
   





Are you looking for a way to grow demand for solar lights in Africa that doesn't undermine attempts to build a sustainable market? We thought so. Then perhaps this Guide to our successful Light Libraries project is right up your street.
You may remember from a previous blog the Light Library project is funded by Lighting Africa, a World Bank/IFC joint initiative, and delivered in partnership with the Senegalese Rural Electrification Agency and the Ministry of Education.
Nearly 5,000 solar lights, 58 schools and an estimated 55,000 people gained direct exposure to the solar lights through the project whose objective was to support market-building by overcoming two of the main barriers to uptake: lack of trust and awareness.
As a follow up to the project, our social enterprise SunnyMoney, delivered its traditional sales campaign to assess change in demand and found that sales were dramatically higher in the Light Library schools at 35% of school population (2,138 lights) than in control schools with15% uptake (966 lights).

The Light Library model not only appears to have increased uptake but also seems to have reduced the perception of risk. Many of the Light Library schools included customers from lower-income families who are generally more risk averse and less prone to become early adopters.
The Guide shares information on the design and delivery of the project and the subsequent delivery of SunnyMoney’straditional sales model. It shares the results of the evaluation as well as the lessons learned, challenges faced and key issues addressed.
We know that the only way we’re going to be able to eradicate the kerosene lamp is by being opentransparent, and sharing our knowledge with others. As part of this ethos we will make the tools and materials designed for the Light Library project available for public use.