Scouting for Sunshine

Help Solar Scouts sell 1,700 solar powered lighting and cellphone chargers to off-grid homes

This is the second project in the SunFunder-Zamsolar partnership to bring solar powered lighting and mobile phone charging to rural parts of Zambia. Through its network of village sales agents called Solar Scouts, Zamsolar is able to reach the remotest of communities and provide affordable solar energy.

Impact

 

  1. For solar customers. Zamsolar Solar Scouts sell the award winning Sun King Pro directly to customers. The Sun King Pro replaces candles, which is the main lighting source used in Zambia, as primary lighting at home and rids the need to pay for cellphone charging outside the house. By switching to a Sun King Pro, a family can save $148 annually in candle expenses and cellphone charging costs.

  2. For Solar Scouts. Another significant impact is the extra disposable income that Solar Scouts earn. With each product sale, Solar Scouts receive a 15% commission, equivalent to $6 for a Sun King Pro. Solar Scouts are usually part-time farmers or unemployed youth in rural villages that have high school diplomas and plenty of ambition, but few opportunities. As they sell products, they build positive reputation because of their expertise on solar technology and their critical role in providing valuable products that are in high demand. 

The projected impact of the Sun King Pro on each customer's household:

 

 

Summary

 

Out of a total population of 13 million people, 10 million in Zambia lack electricity, with most living in rural areas. Rural households that lack electricity are forced to use expensive, inefficient sources of energy, spending nearly $150 per year on candles, batteries, and cell phone charging services. Because of this, the comparative cost of solar makes solar energy a very attractive alternative for rural Zambians looking to save money and lead healthier lives. 

Because Solar Scouts are themselves members of the off-grid communities they serve, they ensure that solar products are getting to the people who need them most. Every Solar Scout receives ample product and skills training as well as marketing materials before starting to make sales independently in their communities. Scout managers at Zamsolar do routine follow-ups with Solar Scouts and provide support when needed and motivation in the form of friendly competitions with other scouts and other incentives to urge Solar Scouts to do their best. 

 

Technology

 

The Sun King Pro defines the industry's gold standard in affordable solar-powered lanterns with mobile-phone charging capability.

  • 10 times brighter than a kerosene lamp
  • 30 hours of light on one day’s charge
  • 5 years of battery life
  • Charges mobile phones

 

100% Funded

with Solar Empowerment Fund

$37,500

This project is fully funded!

SOLAR PARTNER

Zamsolar is a social enterprise that empowers a network of sales agents in rural villages and delivers solar products and other cost-saving and income-generating products to the 10 million Zambians who have no electricity. Since January 2013, the Solar Scout program have provided more than 4,000 un-electrified families with safe, affordable, and clean light in rural Zambia through employing and training more than 450 active Solar Scouts.

LOCATION

Zamsolar is now operating in most of Zambia’s major population centers, with hubs in Lusaka, Mumbwa, Kabwe, Kapiri Mphoshi, Mazabuka, Choma, Chipata, Lundazi, and Petauke. In the longer run, they will be targeting five population centers in Zambia’s Northern and Western Provinces as areas for continued expansion.