Update on my Sunfunder projects (January 2014)

1200 More Solar Lights in Copperbelt

January 15, 2014
SunnyMoney is a social enterprise that sells quality solar lights in Malawi, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania, reducing reliance on poor quality fuels such as kerosene and disposable, short-life batteries.
Jul 2013 – Repayment 1
Oct 2013 – Repayment 2
Jan 2014 – Repayment 3
Apr 2014 – Repayment 4

Going good, I’ve just been repaid on my loan for this SunnyMoney project for the third time. I’m now only one repayment away from being fully repaid! I’ve paid it forward and grown my impact by reinvesting your repaid funds into another project that is not yet fully funded. Thanks for supporting off-grid solar!

The repayment means that demand for solar in the area is still high and that students and teachers are buying solar lights across Copperbelt district. As a result, they are experiencing life without kerosene, which is healthier and more economical.

Propel Zamsolar Solar Scouts

January 14, 2014
Zamsolar is a social enterprise that empowers a network of sales agents in rural villages and delivers solar products and other cost-saving and income-generating products to the 10 million Zambians who have no electricity.
Oct 2013 – Repayment 1
Jan 2014 – Repayment 2
Apr 2014 – Repayment 3
Jul 2014 – Repayment 4

Good news! I received my second repayment on my loan for this Zamsolar project. I’ve reinvested the rapayment in other solar projects on Sunfunder.

The Solar Scout program has grown tremendously since the first recruits joined in January of 2013. A year later, the number of Solar Scouts has grown to 450; your loan helped 50 of them start on the right track. In the last several months of 2013 Zamsolar tried a different approach to managing their Solar Scouts. Instead of providing the scouts with products on consignment to sell, the scouts buy a product sample at a discounted price to use while promoting the product to potential customers. After submitting orders, the scouts will then receive products from a Zamsolar manager and are responsible for delivering them to their customers. Since buying a product sample is a commitment in itself, this new approach motivates scouts to be proactive with selling solar lights. As a result, more Solar Scouts are regularly selling products every month, and now a Solar Scout sells 3 to 4 products every month on average, earning commission totaling between $18-$24. With this extra income, Solar Scouts are able to put away some money for saving or better support their families.

Power Homes and Businesses in Kayunga

December 30, 2013
SolarNow provides affordable, high quality solar home systems to off-grid households and businesses in Uganda. Their solar home systems range 50 to 500 watts and because they’re modular they can be upgraded over time.

250 other people and I are making steady progress in this project’s funding. The project is now only $8,000 away from being fully funded, but we could use your help to top it off. So help out and invest, so this project will get fully funded and more people can benefit from solar.

Invest Now

Zonnige ontwikkelingen bij Sunfunder

sunnymoneycelebrationWe hebben al een paar jaar een zonneboiler en sinds dit jaar hebben we ook zonnepanelen op ons eigen huis. Tegelijkertijd laat ik graag anderen genieten van de geneugten van de zon. Daarom investeer ik via crowdfunding ook in offgrid zonne-energie, niet alleen via het Nederlandse Waka Waka, maar ook via Sunfunder. Sunfunder is een crowdfunding site die zich richt op offgrid zonne-energie voor ontwikkelingslanden. Ze werken met verschillende leveranciers van systemen samen. Begin november ontving ik onderstaand bericht van ze (een uitgebreidere versie vind je bij CleanTechnica.com):
Project loan 100% repaid in one year
As of November 1st, SunFunder’s first loan for a SunnyMoney solar project in Zambia is fully repaid.The $10,000 loan was used to purchase and sell approximately 780 solar powered lights to families in the Chadiza district of Eastern Zambia which would improve the lives of almost 4,000 people. 86 SunFunders invested in this project and received their money back in one year.
You can learn more about the project details on our website.
This is the first of 4 SunnyMoney projects to be 100% repaid–a significant development in our 1 year partnership to date with SunnyMoney. It is evidence that the off-grid solar sector is bankable, contrary to the popular perception by the private sector. We’ve written up a short blog post about the implication of this milestone.

While this is the first time a SunnyMoney project is fully repaid, this is the second project loan to reach 100% repayment for SunFunder; the first project was in the Philippines with a different solar partner, Hybrid Social Solutions.

sunnymoneycelebration2This first 100% repayment by SunnyMoney is a positive sign for the other three projects still undergoing repayment process. It also further validates the viability of solar energy in off-grid communities, where solar is actually cheaper than the alternative (kerosene wick lamp for light and walking to a central village charging station for phone charging) when financed. And because of factors like declining solar system costs, increasing kerosene costs, and advances in solar business models, a villager in Tanzania can switch to solar and pay the system off in one to three years, while a homeowner in the Northeast U.S. could require a 15 to 20 year payback.

General progress to date

SunFunder has had a busy and productive summer and the fall season is faring no different. Here’s our latest update, 15 months after launching:

  • 10 projects fully funded
  • $150,000 raised on sunfunder.com
  • 1,200 total project investments made on our platform
  • 590+ individuals from 37 countries
  • 100% repayment rate
  • Over 50,000 people impacted!

Hiermee heeft Sunfunder een mooi resultaat geboekt in de eerste 15 maanden sinds haar lancering. Waarvan ik hoop dat ze dat in de toekomst voortzetten en uitbouwen. Wat mooier dan de dubbele klapper van gezondheidswinst en duurzame energie? En met een terugverdientijd waar we in Nederland voorlopig alleen maar van kunnen dromen voor zonne-energie…

Eigen ervaringen

Zelf heb ik nu 5 investeringen gedaan via Sunfunder. Vier van deze investeringen zijn actief en 1 is nog niet volledig gefinancierd. Bij 2 van de 4 actieve investeringen heb ik inmiddels ook al afbetalingen ontvangen. Ik hoop natuurlijk op 100% terugbetaling, maar weet uit mijn ervaring met MyC4 dat dat niet altijd reëel is. Maar vooralsnog gaat het goed en heb ik ook al de eerste herinvestering gedaan met behulp van de ontvangen afbetalingen. Nu nog voldoende mede-investeerders om het Rent-to-Own a Solar Light project actief te krijgen. Voor wie z’n verlanglijstje voor Sinterklaas of de Kerstman nog niet af heeft: hou heb weblog van Sunfunder in de gaten, want er schijnt wat in aantocht te zijn.

Project Status % repaid # of people with solar Energy cost savings CO2 avoided (kg)
1200 more solar lights in Copperbelt Active 49.4% 6,776 $86,959 0
Propel Zamsolar Solar Scouts Active 24.5% 2,02 $20 0
ReadySet, Charge! Active 0.0% 375 $6,000 2,05
Solar for 4,500 students Active 0.0% 22,5 $58,500 153
Rent-to-Own a Solar Light Pending 0.0% 5,4 $0 0