Total loan: $8,000


Mbeya, Mbeya, Tanzania / Retail

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A loan helped to buy solar products and establish her own solar business.

Jane's story

Jane is a 28-year-old university graduate from Mbeya, Tanzania. In the region where she comes from, many people live in rural areas where they don't have access to electricity. This is a common situation in Tanzania, where the national grid reaches only 14% of the population: that means 38 million people are without electricity. Jane knows that solar power can be an affordable and efficient solution to get access to energy. The impact that solar power can have is huge and varied: with solar products the people of Mbeya will be able to light their homes at night; to charge their mobile phones for free in their own home; to keep businesses running after sunset; and their children will be able to study in the evening without having to use harmful kerosene lamps. As of today all of this is impossible, as people have to walk, sometimes for hours, just to charge their phone, and pay for it as well. After sunset there is no light if not that provided by kerosene, which is dangerous for people's health, especially children, and for the environment. Jane's objective is to use a Kiva loan to start her own business and provide solar power products to the people in her community. Part of the loan will go towards the purchase of products. The rest will be used to cover the costs of running the business, such as transportation and marketing. Eventually, Jane wants to set up a solar shop in her hometown. As a university graduate who has already gained retail experience in the renewable energy sector, Jane understands very well how to run a business, to keep track of her revenues and expenses, and to reach out to customers. She has been working with African Solar Rise for over 3 months now, and has demonstrated her reliability and motivation. She has already brought power to many families, teaching them how to use the products and installing them herself on the roofs of the houses. Jane has received training within the Solar Village project of African Solar Rise, and she therefore has the technical knowledge of solar power products needed to install them and to provide after-sales services to a high standard. With all of these assets, she is confident she can run her activity successfully, and maintain a high level of sales. A Kiva loan will give Jane the opportunity to start a new stage in her life, and to have a truly significant impact on her community.