SunFunder and SunnyMoney launched a partnership and our first project together just one year ago, but we have accomplished quite a lot in the short amount of time:
- 4 projects launched on sunfunder.com
- These 4 projects add up to $75,000 in working capital loans for SunnyMoney to scale their operations, and were fully funded by more than 400 people
- Through the 4 projects, SunnyMoney will have impacted over 39,000 people in Zambia and Tanzania with affordable solar energy
As of this month, we also crossed our first major milestone with SunnyMoney: the loan for the first project we launched is 100% 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.
Here are photos of SunnyMoney and SunFunder’s celebration together, and some photos from the project that is now fully repaid:
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.
This 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.
We hope that with every project that crosses the 100% repayment line, the clean energy community is one step closer to proving the social bankability of the off-grid solar sector. Getting big international finance institutions (IFI’s) like the World Bank to support the off-grid solar sector is ultimately a winning scenario, because as the International Energy Agency has stated, the world needs nearly $1 trillion in cumulative investment to achieve universal energy access by 2030. The more we as a global community can use crowdfunding and other innovative approaches to prove that this sector is well worth the investment for big IFI’s, the better off the one billion plus unelectrified population will be in the coming years.
As for SunFunder, we will continue to do what we do so our solar partners can keep creating impact where it’s most needed. Since launching in July 2012, $150,000 have been raised by nearly 600 people from 37 countries on sunfunder.com to fully fund 10 projects. Through this global effort, over 50,000 people are impacted by solar energy in the Philippines, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. And with this latest milestone, our repayment rate remains at 100%. Join us in financing the off-grid solar revolution!