Energia Innovadora is a Peruvian small business founded in Arequipa in 2003. Marcelo is the General Manager of business. Energia Innovadora focuses on the maximum use of energy efficient power generation solutions. Recently, we have added the Barefoot Power line of products to our current range of solar home systems, small wind power systems and solar water heaters.
Energia Innovadora SAC will use the Kiva loan funds to scale up distribution of clean energy products, specifically for the purchase of Barefoot Power systems.
The main barrier to growing our small business is access to affordable working capital finance. When working on government projects or with branch retail networks, often our customers ask us for extended repayment (for example, 90 days after receiving the products). This means that we not only have our working capital tied up while the products are being shipped to us, which can take up to two months, but also we have to wait for our customers to repay us. Without a loan, we could be facing a supply gap during this long time. A loan from Kiva will help us provide a steady supply of Barefoot Power products to our customers and the people of Peru.
Additionally the Kiva loan will allow us to maintain a reasonable price for the products.
We chose Barefoot Power because they offer high-quality and affordable small solar products. The range of products is great for our local markets in Peru because they offer bright lights and bring much-loved entertainment to Peruvians by way of charging phones and radios at good price points.
Previously, we had to buy components for our solar home systems from multiple suppliers. It is much more convenient to just work with one supplier and a solution well assembled and packed in a box.
Our favourite part of working with Barefoot Power is the reliability of their products, the quality of the designs, the ease of use of the products and the R&D that clearly they place in enhancing the products. I have compared the products to similar ones, not only in pictures and tech sheets, but also life comparisons and I can tell the difference almost at a glance.
Solar power is an efficient (economic + reliable) way to access to a better life standard for people in the rural areas of Peru and also to have a safe product in case of earthquakes or other natural disasters for people in the urban areas of Peru. Solar energy plus a good solar energy product equals to us the best solution for people today.
We expect that Barefoot Power products will bring clean energy within the reach of many Peruvians who right now rely on kerosene (very scarce product) and candles (becomes expensive candle after candle) to light their homes, and walk long distances to charge their phones. This will make homes safer by reducing the risk of fires and burns, improve indoor air quality among rural households, and reduce carbon emissions. An example of how light improves safety: in Castilla district, Piura, a man died because he went out at night to the bathroom and a snake bit him because he could not see it. Using an LED lamp could have saved his life.
Dedicated to our mission, we hope to reach as many homes as possible through different channels: NGOs, hardware stores chains, Rural credit institutions, municipal governments and independent distributors.
We hope that the government understands that the job is not only to give the solar products to the people, but to give them simple products with long life and very low cost of maintenance. Barefoot Power systems are one of the best ways to accomplish the task while saving the government (tax payers) a lot of money.
We look forward to further development of renewable energy technologies in hope that the research brings better products day after day.
Because Barefoot Power’s core business is not microfinance, there is some level of additional risk for lenders. Kiva’s partnership with the company is unique and unprecedented. For this reason, Kiva has not assigned the organization a risk rating.
Barefoot Power is a for-profit social enterprise dedicated to bringing solar lighting solutions to remote, low-income regions. The company offers Kiva-funded loans to its distributors and retailers to buy supplies, open stores, and sell high-quality, affordable lighting products to consumers in underserved communities. Access to renewable lighting reduces use of pricey, dangerous kerosene, and significantly improves household productivity and income potential.