The name of the product in its various markets; any specific product identification numbers

Product description

This product provides the opportunity for small shops in rural communities to sell solar light. The “business in a box” kit includes 2 LED lamps and a separate solar panel. These solar lamps are capable of providing bright light, charging cell phones, and the solar panel charges the lamps. The small shop, providing solar light at the same price as kerosene to their customers, creates a micro franchise. The lamps are intended for night time use, as a replacement to kerosene lanterns. This product is geared to off grid regions where kerosene is the primary lighting source for households. Residents within the community travel every few days to these locally owned small shops for consumer goods.

Where the product/service is being used

This product will be marketed for use in East Africa, specifically Tanzania.

The Problems it attempts to solve or address

Over half a billion people use kerosene as their primary source for lighting in Africa, causing indoor environments to be filled with smoke and soot. Every year millions of deaths are attributed to indoor air pollution, and over 95% of deaths worldwide from fire and burns are in the developing world. Low-income families have no choice but to use kerosene fuel to light their home since other lighting solutions are far too expensive, forcing children to study at night using a dull dangerous flame.

Design Approach

This product is designed around the needs of the end consumer, a “bottom of the pyramid” citizen who makes $1-2 a day who uses kerosene. Providing the consumer with a brighter and safer lighting service at an affordable price is the purpose of the product. By optimizing features we allow small shops to earn back the cost of the kit within a reasonable payback period. Designing a high quality product that creates social value involves the incorporation of everyday cultural aspects to improve quality of life. The product is designed to minimize material while maximizing functionality.

Technology Used

The KARIBU Solar Power lamp uses a battery to power an LED light. Available on the lamp is a USB port, capable of charging cell phones, and a separate solar panel is used to charge the lamps. A metal handle is used for carrying and hanging on the ceiling.

Business Model

The purchasers of the KARIBU Solar Power “business in a box” kit are the small shop owners in the rural communities. We leverage their existing distribution networks to reach the consumers who are already purchasing kerosene fuel at these small shops. The shop uses the solar panel to charge the lamps in the kit. A customer, who regularly purchases kerosene, buys one charged lamp for $3.00 and begins using the KARIBU business model. This customer goes home and uses the lamp to light their house, help their kids study and charge their phone. When the lamp is out of battery the customer returns to the shop and swaps the depleted lamp for a charged one, and pays 30 cents. After 3 months the small shop earns back the cost of the kit, and from that point on makes profit on every recharge. Since sunlight is free, the shop creates an additional revenue stream, earning income on everyday recharges.

Impact

For every kerosene lantern replaced with a solar lamp, carbon dioxide is offset from entering into the atmosphere. By reducing the number of sick days of the consumer, providing additional working hours into the night and helping to allowing children to pursue their education after dark there is a substantial social benefit. Energy is generated within the community, reducing the dependency on foreign kerosene, allowing for a more localized economy. Small businesses have already adopted the business model.

Describe the impact it has made and the degree to which it has met the needs of the user/s. Describe how close it comes to achieving the overall goals, and what measurements are being used to assess performance. If the product is still in the early stages of implementation, then comment as best you can about its success to date and when the next measurement milestone is.

Lessons Learned

The lessons learned can be anything to do with the product/service, and at any stage of the development.

In respect of the marketing itself, identify known blocks to expanding the distribution (cost, culture, distribution etc.)

Contact details

Karibusolar.com