Prior to becoming a distributor for NOTS, Daniel studied agriculture and engineering and worked as a farm manager at a Malian textile company. Upon learning about the work of NOTS Mali, he was very motivated to become a distributor because he knew solar lamps would be a great benefit to people living in the rural areas where he lived and worked.
Daniel sells solar lamps directly to farmers and through small retailers and individual entrepreneurs in Sikasso, the southern-most region in Mali. Most people living in this area work in agriculture and about 80% of the population does not have access to electricity. They rely, instead, on kerosene, flashlights and candles for light and they must walk long distances and pay to charge their mobile phones. On top of being harmful to the environment, time-consuming, and damaging to users' health (inhaling kerosene fumes is like smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day), these energy sources are expensive, costing a family at least $80 per year.
A solar lamp has a lifetime of about 5 years and costs $25. Purchasing a solar lamp is a win-win-- families benefit because they save time and money and they are safer and healthier and the environment benefits from less toxic waste and reduced CO2 emissions caused by kerosene use.
The funds from Kiva investors will allow Daniel to purchase solar lamps and sell them to cotton and sesame farmers on credit. These lamps will impact approximately 4,000 lives. Harvest season starts in September, so it is a good time for Daniel to sell lamps as the farmers will have some money to pay for the lamps. It is difficult, however, for them to pay in one lump-sum payment, so Daniel will collect payments in installments. This way farmers can access solar light without so much financial strain on their household.
More information about this loan
This Kiva loan will be used to provide borrowers with needed goods or services, as opposed to cash or financial credit. This loan will be delivered in the form of solar lamps to a distributor through NOTS Lampe Solaire, a solar lamp importer. The distributor will sell the lamps at a profit to retailers, who will resell them to consumers. This will enable the distributor to earn an income while helping other households replace dangerous and dirty kerosene lamps with safe, clean solar lamps. Households that obtain solar lamps generally save between $60 to $100 a year on kerosene costs, also boosting their economic situation. Because this inventory of lamps is very expensive, NOTS Lampe Solaire will wait to receive Kiva lenders' funds before delivering them to the distributor. Accordingly, the disbursement date on this loan is an estimate. If the distributor repays on time, then 0% interest will be charged. A 25% APR penalty will be charged on any funds repaid late. Lamp prices for end consumers are fixed and advertised by NOTS Lampe Solaire to help ensure optimal access to clean lamps for as many households as possible.
About NOTS Lampe SolaireNOTS Lampe Solaire is a for-profit social enterprise launched in 2011 that sells and distributes solar lamps, aiming to replace all kerosene lamps in Mali with clean, safe solar alternatives by the end of 2016. Kiva loans are used by distributors and women’s associations to purchase solar lamps on credit that they can then sell in their local communities at a profit to improve their livelihoods.
By replacing kerosene lamps, solar lamps make homes safer and more productive mreduce air pollution, facilitate convenient mobile phone charging, and provide households with savings on energy costs of $60 to $100 a year per lamp.
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