Update of Barefoot Power Loan to Gottlieb and Elephant Energy

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Here is an update of Barefoot Power Loan to Gottlieb for those of you on Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva: Gottlieb and Elephant Energy (EE) used the Kiva loan to purchase 768 Firefly Mobile Lamps and 12 Firefly Fast Phone Chargers from Barefoot Power. Below is the update from Claire Markham in Namibia. I am also posting a video on Elephant Energy in Namibia (how EE got started and what EE is trying to do in Africa):


Gottlieb and Elephant Energy (EE) used the Kiva loan to purchase 768 Firefly Mobile Lamps and 12 Firefly Fast Phone Chargers from Barefoot Power. The solar products were introduced to the EE supply chain that operates throughout six Northern regions of Namibia and assisted in the expansion of EE’s efforts towards rural development, job creation and the availability of safe, alternative energy solutions.

The EE supply chain that the Barefoot Power solar products were sold through currently employs 34 Namibians, four of whom work as Regional Sales Managers (RSMs) and 30 who operate as Rural Sales Agents (RSAs). The RSAs are trained by the RSMs on marketing and sales techniques and then they are supplied with solar products that they sell and earn a commission. RSAs come from rural villages where sources of income are difficult to find. Selling solar products allows our sales agents to be proactive and earn an income based on how much they decide to work.

The solar lights purchased with the Kiva loan offer a safe alternative to candles and kerosene as they eliminate the risk of an accidental fire. Villagers who have bought these products are well aware of the risks associated with open flames in grass huts and they are relieved to have a safe alternative. The solar lights and cell phone chargers also offer economic benefits as they pay back their value in 1-3 months, allowing villagers to cut their dependence on fire for light and paying to charge their cellphones.

All of the profits from the sales of the Barefoot Power solar products will be reinvested into EE in the form of purchasing new products, capacity building and supply chain costs. The solar products have all been sold and the proceeds that have been generated will allow us to expand our supply chain and increase the impact of EE. We hope to continue with this momentum by introducing more solar lights and cellphone chargers to an underserved market that is in need of alternative energy sources.

Barefoot Power

Claire Markham from Windhoek, Namibia Dec 2, 2013 at Kiva site

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gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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