Our story & vision
We believe that energy poverty is a serious global problem, and we have an idea to help solve it.
- Over 1.5 billion people lack access to electricity and must rely on kerosene for lighting.
- Over 600 million people have mobile phones but no accessible electricity source to charge them.
- Poor, off-grid communities spend a much larger share of their income on energy than we do.
- Use of kerosene, diesel and firewood degrades the environment and contributes to carbon emissions.
- Children can’t study after the sun sets.
- Economic activity is limited to daytime hours and productivity is constrained.
- Women in post-conflict zones are unsafe at night.
- Indoor pollution, caused by kerosene lanterns, causes injuries, respiratory diseases and 1 million deaths every year (children being the most affected).
- Solar energy is abundant in these parts of the world.
- Technological and payment innovation has made solar energy viable for off-grid communities.
- Solar entrepreneurs and businesses have proven they can provide affordable, scalable and sustainable solutions to break the cycle of energy poverty while creating local job opportunities.
- There is a huge opportunity for solar to leapfrog the non-existent electricity grid system this decade.
- There is a big shortage of financing to fund this off-grid solar revolution. In the poorest countries, current financial flow has only reached 20% of what is needed to provide basic, clean, modern energy services to the "energy poor".
- Solar companies on the ground lack access to finance to grow their business and fund their projects because they are too large for microfinance and too small for commercial lending.
The SunFunder solution:
- We believe that people around the world would lend money to these businesses if they could, and so we’ve created a crowdfunding platform to connect individual investors with quality, vetted, high impact solar businesses working on the ground in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
- We also believe that engaging individuals to finance these projects will create a huge leverage to stimulate institutional capital flows into these markets.
- We’re doing this to create impact, and we will measure the economic, environmental and social impact our platform creates over time.