Today we celebrate yet another important milestone: 100% repayment again! And lucky us, this time we actually got to celebrate it with the solar partner who made this all possible—SunnyMoney. Here’s cofounder Sameer (middle) with Richard Turner and Kat Harrison of SolarAid (SunnyMoney’s overarching charity) playing with party poppers and having a grand bash at the SolarAid office!
What this momentous event means for us:
- This is the first project in the SunFunder-SunnyMoney partnership to become 100% repaid in one year. And it is a terrific sign of the great things to come out of our long-term relationship, especially for the remaining 3 SunFunder-SunnyMoney projects that are still making repayments. Best of all, we look forward to launching more projects with SunnyMoney in other parts of Africa in the coming months!
Another project fully repaid further validates the viability of solar energy in off-grid communities. It is a practical solution with a quick payback period that is much more advantageous than the incumbent energy sources, such as kerosene, candles, and batteries. The benefits are also immediate—as soon as a family switches to solar, they can instantly start saving money, spending more hours at night studying or doing other productive activities, and breathing less toxic fumes. Off-grid solar is one of the most sensible options for alleviating poverty that’s proven and on the uptake; the rapid growth of the off-grid lighting market in Africa is a clear indication of that.
With every project that crosses the 100% repayment line, we are one step closer to proving the social bankability of the off-grid solar sector. Getting big international finance institutions (IFI’s) like the World Bank behind off-grid solar sector is ultimately a winning scenario, because as the International Energy Agency has stated, we need nearly $1 trillion in cumulative investment to achieve universal energy access by 2030. The more we can use crowdfunding and community-backed approaches to prove that the off-grid solar sector is well worth the investment for big IFI’s, the better off the 1.3 billion unelectrified population will be in the coming years.
As for the rest of the SunFunder team, which has grown since the first time a project became fully repaid, we are cheering SunnyMoney on from a distance: