A loan of $3,875 helped to pay for solar energy systems and offer financing plans to lower-income farmers.

Laban's story

Laban is an entrepreneur who works with a small team of socially minded partners to improve the lives of farmers throughout Kenya. His work involves building market linkages with suppliers of environmentally friendly products that are needed within local communities, and bringing them to areas with little access to these technologies. Over the last several years, Laban has brought access to sustainable energy and poverty-alleviating products to thousands of farmers who earn a living from growing flowers and raising livestock.

Laban's product line includes solar energy solutions as well as clean cook stoves, both of which are sold directly on farms and in open-air markets. Through local demonstrations, Laban's team engages local communities in understanding the positive aspects of solar when compared to traditional energy sources such as candles, kerosene, and disposable batteries. With years of experience selling a variety of solar products, Laban has built a reputation as a trusted reseller in his community.

Laban began working with One Degree’s team in Kenya in 2012 after hearing about BrightBox, a new solar energy kit that powers lights, phones, and radios. Since September 2012, Laban has already sold over 250 BrightBox systems to his customers. He already has requests for many more, which he would like to provide before the holidays. While happy with his initial success, Laban has been selling to farmers on a regular cash basis, while many others cannot afford to pay upfront. These same farmers are often stuck spending $10-$15 per month - a considerable portion of their income - on lighting and phone charging.

To break this cycle and make renewable energy accessible to these customers, Laban would like to start offering flexible payment terms to those who need it most, while also increasing his inventory on hand to serve more customers. He seeks support from Kiva lenders to make this happen.

Laban will use funds for 50 BrightBoxes, which will be used to energize and empower households across his region. Customers will be able to collect BrightBox systems immediately and pay for them upfront or over several months. Since they are currently spending money on polluting, unsafe, and inefficient energy, most will save enough to recoup costs in 4-5 months and never worry about fuel or fire again. With your help, Laban will help families eliminate energy expenses, improve safety, and allow their children to read into the night.

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details