Community Improvement, Capacity Building

SOLAR SISTER INC

Light. Hope. Opportunity.

Great Falls, VA

Mission

Solar Sister eradicates energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity.  We combine the breakthrough potential of solar technology with a deliberately woman-centered direct sales network to bring light, hope and opportunity to even the most remote communities in rural Africa.

Ruling Year

2010

CEO

Ms. Katherine Lucey

Chief Collaboration Officer

Ms. Neha Misra

Main Address

94 Interpromontory Rd.

Great Falls, VA 22066 USA

Keywords

Energy Access, Solar, Women empowerment, renewable energy, climate change

EIN

27-1185128

 Number

5824803813

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Economic Development (S30)

Energy Resources Conservation and Development (C35)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Blog

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

More than 600 million people in Africa live without electricity, over 700 million depend on fuels like charcoal and firewood for cooking, and deforestation of tropical rainforests in Africa and elsewhere is impacting global climate change.

For Africans living in rural areas, electricity is even less likely. In Tanzania, only 7% of people in rural communities have access to power. In Nigeria, approximately 70 million people in rural areas are without electricity. Regular power cuts mean even those with grid access are often left in the dark.

Cooking smoke causes over 4 million deaths per year and is the single leading cause of death for women and children under five in the developing world. In Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy, smoke exposure is the biggest killer after Malaria and AIDS.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Women's Economic Empowerment

Energy Access

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Solar Sister eradicates energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity. We combine the breakthrough potential of solar and clean cooking technology with a deliberately woman-centered direct sales network to bring light, hope and opportunity to even the most remote communities in rural Africa. Solar Sister's innovative business model aims to accomplish 2 main goals 1) women's economic empowerment and 2) clean energy access. Currently we operate in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.

Solar Sister is the only organization in the world formed with the exclusive mission to build an Africa-wide network of women clean energy entrepreneurs. We achieve these strategic goals by:

1) Targeting women: women are the primary consumers of household energy and therefore critical to the successful adaptation of clean energy technology solutions. We believe that investing in women is a prerequisite for large-scale adoption of clean energy technologies at a grassroots level.

2) Recruiting, Training and Supporting entrepreneurs: We offer African women both a sense of agency and the skill set required to play an active role in a growing green economy. We provide a holistic package of inputs including: business and technical training, a proven business model, strength of a quality brand, access to world class products, servicing, marketing support, best sales practices, access to working capital, and a mentor relationship. Solar Sister delivers expertise in business, clean energy technology and a uniquely women-led effort to advance innovative women's empowerment solutions.

3) Sustainable business model: Solar Sister provides a scalable solution to build a bottom up green economy to spread light, hope and opportunity to communities throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

As a leading social enterprise, Solar Sister's experienced management team, portfolio of clean energy technology, and extensive partnership network make make us well poised to accomplish our goals to scale and deepen our impact. Our people are core to who we are and what we do. Beyond our talented leadership team, our program is based on recruiting, training, and advanced support for our network of entrepreneurs. Over 2,700 women have become Solar Sister Entrepreneurs to bring clean energy to almost 1 million people living in energy-poor communities in Africa.

Solar Sister distributes clean energy products from leading reputable companies, enabling us to offer the best products at the best value and adapt to the markets in the diverse communities where we work.

Data collection and tracking is core to our sales-based business model. We track the number of Solar Sister Entrepreneurs we train, trends in the regions where we operate, and trends in the products being sold and by which entrepreneurs and the number of households and individuals benefitting from clean energy access. We also engage with research institutions at universities to conduct quantitative and qualitative external impact studies. For example, Santa Clara University's Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship recently published new findings on Solar Sister's model - read more here: www.solarsister.org/impact/turning-on-the-lights-2

Solar Sister has reached more than 920,000 people in energy-poor communities across Sub-Saharan Africa. We are proud that our innovative business model tackles the related development challenges of health, safety, environment, economy, education, and women's empowerment. In short, we are transforming communities by decreasing toxic chemicals in the home created by indoor cooking and burning fossil fuels, decreasing risk of home fires, decreasing reliance on expensive energy sources like wood and fossil fuels to power homes, creating jobs, and powering businesses to stay open and children to study once the sun goes down.

External Reviews

Photos

Financials

SOLAR SISTER INC

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2015
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

No

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity