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VIA installs solar stations for villages for up to 100 households, collecting around USD $2-3 per week from each household for the use of the solar lamps and batteries. Thus for the same weekly price they would otherwise pay for kerosene, villagers can access clean and safe solar lighting and own this infrastructure in 1-3 years time.
The VIA product has two parts - a centralized solar charging station and household multi-purpose battery packs that connect with end-uses of lighting and phone charging with possible extension to radio, TVs and other appliances. Together, their product forms the basis of a solar charging system that can provide electricity to 20-100 homes in a village, with villagers recharging their home units regularly from the community panel and battery. A typical sized charging station will have small solar panels and two batteries for each of the 50 or so households within walking distance. These will swap batteries every 2-3 days. Once the systems have been paid off, the borrower can take a small solar panel to their home.
VIA works closely with three main local players in the delivery of this technology. The local technology partner (ACTIV), a local micro-finance institution (VANWODS - Vanuatu Women’s Development Services), a local entrepreneur and VIA. The local technology partner is responsible for importing the product, recruiting entrepreneurs, building/installation of charging stations, training and selection of village entrepreneurs and village sites for solar charging stations. The MFI partner supports loan tracking at the individual household level, as well as loan initiation, tracking and collection from micro-entrepreneurs. The micro-entrepreneur runs the charging station, is responsible for safekeeping and operating the solar panels and collecting payments from each household.
Village Infrastructure is a for-profit social enterprise founded in the UK that brings together business angel investors and the poorest communities in developing countries. The organization makes solar energy affordable through energy loans of up to three years.
The organization installs solar stations for villages for up to 100 households, and the micro-entrepreneurs collect around USD $2-3 per week from each household for the use of the solar lamps and batteries. Thus for the same weekly price they would otherwise pay for kerosene, villagers can access clean and safe solar lighting and own this infrastructure in 1-3 years time.
This is a Group Loan
In a group loan, each member of the group receives an individual loan but is part of a larger group of individuals. The group is there to provide support to the members and to provide a system of peer pressure, but groups may or may not be formally bound by a group guarantee. In cases where there is a group guarantee, members of the group are responsible for paying back the loans of their fellow group members in the case of delinquency or default.
Kiva's Field Partners typically feature one borrower from a group. The loan description, sector, and other attributes for a group loan profile are determined by the featured borrower's loan. The other members of the group are not required to use their loans for the same purpose.