Solar mobile charging-a case study of Kenya
In Western Kenya, Yvonne opens her shop each day by placing the portable solar panel outside to serve the queue of customers that are waiting for their phones to be charged.
Solaris offers a solar powered charging device that enables a shop/kiosk owner to setup a mobile or lamp charging facility for their community. The product consists of a 10 watt solar panel, battery storage, and multiple out-lets to charge a range of devices. Yvonne was one of the first buyers of the product, and the success of her purchase was shown by the return on the investment in only two months.
Furthermore, one Solaris system can serve up to 60 mobile phones, as demonstrated by the number of locals who said the service helped them stay connected. They no longer have to wait until their next trip to an electrified town to charge their phones.
Yvonne was approached at random on a sales run in November 2010. She quickly understood the concept and business opportunity. After seeing the Solaris product in operation, she produced her mobile phone to pay for the device with mobile payments. Within 30 minutes, she was running her new Solaris charging device!
Mobile phones in rural Africa are necessity for growth, providing instant connections to banking, agriculture, health tools, and trade. Solaris is a highly scalable model that creates rapid impact—alleviating poverty in the most impoverished regions by connecting rural areas to the mainstream and providing dwellers access to global wealth. Yvonne’s customers are
able to manage their mobile finances, check crop prices, sell their produce before a harvest, and stay in touch with friends and family.