The merger combines Solar Sister’s operations in Nigeria and Tanzania, with LivelyHoods’ network in Kenya to drive impact in the three most important issues of our time: gender equity, climate justice, and energy access.
According to Tania Laden, Co-Founder and Executive Director LivelyHoods, “This merger represents the kind of collaboration and unity of effort that it will take to address the world’s greatest challenges, such as job creation, economic empowerment, and access to clean and affordable energy, that both of our organizations have been working on for more than a decade,”
Solar Sister and LivelyHoods bring life-transforming clean energy products to underserved households in low resource communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Using market-based social enterprise models that deliver energy access, economic opportunity, and climate solutions, both organizations have carved out leadership positions in their respective markets. Founded in 2009 and 2011 respectively, the two organizations share a mission of ensuring that no one is left behind in the clean energy transition.
This merger validates an innovative approach that translates and scales across cultures and contexts. Expanding into the Kenyan market accelerates Solar Sister’s commitment to expand impact across sub-Saharan Africa building on the strength of its model of women entrepreneurs selling solar lights and clean cookstoves to family, friends, and neighbors.
“Bringing these two organizations together is a massive leap forward in scaling up a proven energy access solution that improves human well-being, boosts equity, and helps usher in prosperity for people in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Katherine Lucey, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Solar Sister. “Our mission, vision, and values are in complete alignment, giving us a solid foundation for our combined efforts. We bring different geographic and market segment expertise to the table that will enable us to grow in size as well as strength. We are better together, and that benefits our customers, our communities, our partners, and our funders.”
This merger delivers a climate solution that addresses the fact that over 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live without electricity, and over 700 million depend on harmful fuels such as firewood and charcoal for cooking. Globally, smoke from cookstoves causes 2.6 million premature deaths and dangerous health conditions, including respiratory and vision problems. Lack of access to power locks people into poverty and affects all areas of life. Energy poverty has many direct and indirect negative consequences on the health, education, and incomes of women in particular and off-grid communities in general—people who experience energy poverty use higher-cost fuels like kerosene lamps and firewood. When more people have access to clean energy, they are healthier, children can study longer, and communities are more stable. The use of clean energy prevents harmful emissions, reduces deforestation, and climate change.