Africa is a continent that is quickly developing, and there are lots of environmentally friendly start-ups that are encouraging this through social enterprise.
One of those is Solar Sister. This is a charity that works to reduce energy poverty by empowering women in different African countries and giving them career opportunities.
They work in Tanzania, Nigeria and Uganda and not only help the women they directly work with, but also their wider communities.
Solar Sister does this by helping these women to become entrepreneurs, setting up their own sustainable businesses and helping their own communities. They are creating these businesses by selling much needed technology that uses clean energy.
Solar Sister empower women in rural African communities by setting them up to sell solar lights, clean cookstoves and mobile phone chargers.
From this, the women take a 5-10% commission, allowing them to fund their own careers, such as basket weaving, or contributing to their children’s future through education.
To begin, they buy the products from Solar Sister using their own money or from the charity’s funding packages.
From here they are able to provide their communities with technology that runs off clean energy. This, as well as helping people in day to day life, reduces pollution and disease caused by the toxic fumes that come from burning other fuels.
Women and children are most at risk of exposure to these fumes due to their time spent in the home and cooking, so clean cookstoves lower this risk.
Providing light is also an amazing way to empower women in lower income brackets, as it means they can read or study no matter what time of day or night it is.
This allows them more access to education and the benefits that come from it.
Solar Sister have so far helped over 2,000 women in these three African countries, and in turn, have helped around 300,000 people in their wider communities.
This is a fantastic way to develop rural African communities, and with more charities like Solar Sister emerging in third world countries around the globe, the future is bright in the developing world!