Solar Sister

A green energy revolution powered by women
2011 SEED Award Winner Clean Energy Kampala, Uganda

Solar Sister empowers African women by providing them with clean energy and economic opportunities. The initiative aims to spread solar power across Africa with the help of a direct sales network. By providing access to electricity in rural areas, especially for women, it helps to close the gender technology gap. Solar Sister trains women to become entrepreneurs, providing them with a “business in a bag”. This consists of an initial stock of portable solar products, plus training and marketing materials. The female entrepreneurs then sell the products in rural areas, earning a commission on each sale. Solar Sister works in partnership with grassroots women’s groups, ensuring that the provision of clean energy forms a part of development programmes. The plan in the coming years is to scale up the initiative, currently operating in Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan, to cover five more sub-Saharan countries. 

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

Solar Sister empowers African women by providing them with clean energy and economic opportunities. Access to electricity in rural areas helps to close the gender technology gap.
  • Empowering 130 female entrepreneurs in Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan, training them and offering them employment.
  • Closing the gender technology gap by providing lighting to women in rural areas.
  • Including women in the energy supply chain, promoting clean energy provision to households.
  • Leading to improved air quality and lower CO2 emissions.


  • Reducing the amount of money spent on kerosene lighting – currently 30 % of household income.
  • Providing electrification to rural areas, which further contributes to community development.


This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

The Mother’s Union of Uganda identifies business opportunities, select potential entrepreneurs and monitoring.

D.light is one of Solar Sister’s product partners and assists with capacity-building and marketing.

Barefoot Power is a technology partner and helps with product promotion.

Nokero is a product partner and also assists with marketing and product promotion.

The Uganda Carbon Bureau acts as a knowledge resource on developments in carbon finance markets.

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