25 Sep The Power of Entrepreneurs to Fulfill People’s Needs in Underserved Communities
SEAF CEO Bert van der Vaart tells the story of Solaric, a solar company in Bangladesh, a country where approximately 40% of the population is still off the electricity grid. Solaric’s off-grid, rural populations clean and affordable solar power to help raise their standard of living and mitigate climate change. The Company’s micro-inverter technology optimized energy efficiency and improved the life of the technology by enabling the use of smaller batteries and solar energy panels which reduced installation and maintenance costs.
With SEAF’s help, Solaric pioneered a distribution system for its solar home products through microfinance institutions and developed an effective payment collection methodology by employing a variation of a franchising system with decentralized payment systems that utilized mobile banking technology.
SEAF’s investment and technical assistance facilitated Solaric’s ability to grow its employee base 8.1x, increase its sales revenues 3300x and reach 35,000 villages to serve 58,000 households with clean, low-cost solar power.