A loan of $50,000 helped to buy and sell Barefoot Power's solar lighting products.

Mark Jonathan's story

Business Description: Solar Solutions PNG Ltd aims to bring a range of high-quality and affordable Barefoot Power solar lighting products to address a critical need for lighting and other basic energy uses in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Solar Solutions will accomplish this by setting up a value chain that adds revenue to local small businesses and creates new jobs, bringing clean energy far into rural areas as well as in major cities.

Company Background: Solar Solutions is a start-up company dedicated to improving energy access in PNG. The founders collectively have several decades of experience working in FMCG goods there. In launching a new company, they decided to sell small solar products due to the poor energy situation in Papua New Guinea.

Only 10% of PNG has energy access, which means that most people in rural areas rely on dangerous, polluting energy sources to light up their homes at night. Too often we read in the news about children injured by fire from a candle or a kerosene lamp. By reducing indoor air pollution, solar lighting improves health as well as safety.

Energy access in cities is also poor. Often there are long hours of the day when the power is out. People in cities need back-up lighting and power to continue basic tasks after sunset.

Our plan is to set up a reliable distribution network throughout the country by tapping into well-established local businesses in each province who can share the benefits of Solar in their provinces and communities.

A Kiva loan will enable us to scale up quickly so that we can reach more households with clean energy.

Partnering with Barefoot will allow us to utilize the expertise that Barefoot Power has gained since its inception and put those learnings into practice. This will help us build a sustainable business supplying a much needed product, in a country that has less than 10% of its population connected to power and who are currently unable to benefit from having an affordable sustainable power source that will assist them in so many ways to develop.

I have devoted 26 years of my working life to PNG and want to help this country develop so that my children and extended family, as well as the millions of other Papua New Guineans can look forward to a brighter future full of promise.

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details