SOCIAL GOOD: Solar Sister Climbs to New Heights

SOCIAL GOOD: Solar Sister Climbs to New Heights

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“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.”

Katherine Lucey is a mother of five and founder and CEO of Solar Sister, a Rhode Island based direct marketing social enterprise that currently operates in the countries of Uganda, Nigeria, and Tanzania. She had previously spent decades in the field of finance, and after having seen first hand the exclusion of women in the energy sector through her work, she formulated her piece of the solution to the problem.  Katherine knew that despite the fact that women were being excluded from the energy conversation, they were actually the main household purchasers. On average 40% of that purchasing power was being spent on energy resources such a s wood, kerosine or paraffin, which came with their own set of harmful issues. Burns, respiratory problems, and the dangers of a woman collecting wood on her own, often at dark, inspired Katherine to launch a direct sales solar enterprise that would both empower these women economically and provide an alternative clean energy source for their daily lives.

Five years later Solar Sister has 1,250 entrepreneurs selling solar lamps, lighting solutions, and clean cookstoves, helping communities to leapfrog over older energy technologies in favor of clean, renewable solar energy sourced by the African sun. To celebrate the five year anniversary of Solar Sister, a goal has been set of raising $500,00.00 to train and launch 1,000 new Solar Sister entrepreneurs. This July a group will climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, to raise funds and awareness for their campaign, and as a symbolic tribute to all of the Solar Sister Entrepreneurs.

“Every woman is a Solar Sister” Solar Sister’s Director of Engagement Caroline Mailoux explained as she outlined her goal of taking part in the upcoming Solar Sister Kilimanjaro climb this summer.

“We want to challenge ourselves in the same way these women do, the Solar Sisters are bold, brave, overcoming obsticles, and transforming how people consume clean energy every day.”

The issue of energy poverty is a universal one, and understanding the importance of women and access to clean energy is becoming increasingly important each day.

Investing in women is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Solar Sister creates sustainable businesses, powered by smart investment in women entrepreneurs. When you invest in a woman, you invest in the future. Join us by making an investment in a Solar Sister Entrepreneur

This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Elizabeth Atalay of Documama.

Have you dreamed of climbing Kilimanjaro? I do! 


Elizabeth Atalay

Elizabeth Atalay is a Digital Media Producer, Managing Editor at World Moms Network, and a Social Media Manager. She was a 2015 United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellow, and traveled to Ethiopia as an International Reporting Project New Media Fellow to report on newborn health in 2014. On her personal blog,, she uses digital media as a new medium for her background as a documentarian. After having worked on Feature Films and Television series for FOX, NBC, MGM, Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and Castle Rock Pictures, she studied documentary filmmaking and anthropology earning a Masters degree in Media Studies from The New School in New York. Since becoming a Digital Media Producer she has worked on social media campaigns for non-profits such as Save The Children, WaterAid,, UNICEF, United Nations Foundation, Edesia, World Pulse, American Heart Association, and The Gates Foundation. Her writing has also been featured on, Johnson & Johnson’s,,, and Elizabeth has traveled to 70 countries around the world, most recently to Haiti with Artisan Business Network to visit artisans in partnership with Macy’s Heart of Haiti line, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans. Elizabeth lives in New England with her husband and four children.

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