Simusolar launched a crowdfunding campaign through an international non-profit lender, Kiva, to raise $50,000. The loan will finance working capital for the sale of solar fishing lights used by fishing communities around Lake Victoria.
Simusolar is a social enterprise providing and financing affordable solar-powered productive systems in rural Tanzania. The products use built-in mobile technology that allows customers to easily pay in small increments over time at a price the can afford.
Simusolar provides a package that includes productive equipment and a stand-alone power source for off-grid applications. This allows for small businesses and farmers in rural Tanzania more growth opportunities which are often missed out on due to lack of productive equipment, power, and financing.
Currently operating in the Lake Zone of Tanzania, Simusolar plans to grow country-wide and regionally in a market estimated to be over $3 billion. Over the next five years, the company hopes to serve over 75,000 customers, representing less than 1% of the regional market.
In 2016, Kiva launched the Direct to Social Enterprise loan pilot, which provides interest-free working capital loans to social enterprises, up to $50,000. Kiva is a microloan crowdfunding platform and the average loan size is less than $500.
Simusolar’s Kiva campaign is supported by UK Aid via Energy 4 Impact’s Crowd Power program, and will match contributions from Kiva lenders. Energy 4 Impact will provide up to $25,000 in match funding.