From basket weavers to salt farmers: the women leading a renewables revolution

From female basket weavers in Tanzania to the women farming salt in Gujarat, social enterprises are helping women become clean energy entrepreneurs

“People call us Mama Solar,” says Solar Sister entrepreneur Hilaria Paschal. In her native Tanzania, Paschal and her fellow basket weavers buy solar lights and clean cookstoves from Solar Sister, a social enterprise empowering women to bring clean energy to rural African communities, and sell them to friends and neighbours living without access to electricity.

The women pay for the products with savings, income from other businesses, funding circles or through Solar Sister’s startup funding packages. Paschal has sold products to more than 1,000 people, channelling the income into her children’s school fees and expanding her basket weaving business. Now, she mentors other women keen to gain economic independence.

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