Model & Strategy
Solar Sister is a green energy revolution powered by women’s enterprise. Providing a grassroots solution to a global energy crisis, Solar Sister combines the breakthrough potential of clean energy technology with a deliberately women-centered direct sales network. Working in rural Africa, Solar Sister recruits, trains and supports women to become Solar Sister Entrepreneurs. The women build sustainable businesses selling solar lamps, mobile phone chargers and fuel efficient cook stoves. Using their natural networks of family, friends and neighbors to provide the most effective distribution channel to rural and hard to reach customers the women earn much needed income to support their families and provide a vital service to their communities. Access to clean energy and simple light has profound benefits including improved education, health and economic outcomes.
Katherine Lucey, founder and CEO of Solar Sister, brings 20 years investment banking and non-profit leadership experience to her role as social entrepreneur. She is an Ashoka East Africa Fellow and a winner of Social Venture Network 2011 Innovation Award and a Global Social Benefit Incubator Fellow for 2011 at the Santa Clara University Center for Science and Technology. Katherine currently serves on the UN Foundation initiative the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and is a co-chair of the Supply Chain and Entrepreneurship Committee of the Sustainable Energy for All Practitioner Network.
Solar Sister has built a network of more than 4,500 women entrepreneurs who earn income while bringing access to clean energy technologies to more than 1.5M people in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda.
In the long term, Solar Sister provides livelihoods and energy access in rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa – breaking the cycle of poverty by creating economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs and access to energy for the women, their families, and their off-grid communities.