WE SolVE – Women Entrepreneurship through the Solar Value chain for Economic development in Tanzania

The WE SolVE project furthered DMDP’s objectives of increasing access to employment, economic opportunity, and clean energy for women in rural Tanzania. The project involved a unique global partnership between BRAC Maendeleo Tanzania (BMT), BRAC Tanzania Finance Limited (BTFL), Signify (Philips Lighting), Signify foundation, Solar Sister, and d.light.

Together, these partners piloted an innovative business and technology model designed to overcome critical financial, knowledge, cost and capacity barriers faced by last-mile agents of clean lighting products. The overall objectives of the project were as follows:

  • Development objective: to create inclusive and sustainable economic growth and productivity (SDG 8), generation of new income (SGD 1) and new decent, green and appropriate employment and livelihoods for women (SDGs 8, 5, 7) in rural Tanzania.


  • Commercial objective: BTFL to test the viability of the energy loan product and build a sustainable transaction model that addressed the consumer financing gap, enabling d.light to increase their market penetration and leading to return on investment for all commercial partners.




Achievements and Milestones

Job Creation and Maintenance

The project has enabled sustainable economic growth and income generation through the creation of 50 new decent jobs. Through strong partnership and increased sales performance, the project performed well by maintaining and improving 197 jobs.

Enhanced Livelihoods and Productivity

The project has improved livelihoods through increased incomes and productivity as the result of recruitment, training, and retention of 1,295 women as Solar Sister Entrepreneurs. The training on products, sales, and financial literacy  equipped participants with a lifetime of valuable knowledge  and transferable skills.

Health and Income Improvements

The intervention was instrumental in offering solar lights and other clean energy products for daily use, leading to improved household incomes (from $1,019 in 2019 to $2,834 in 2022), reduction in expenditures on energy (from $73 in 2019 to $4 in 2022), improved education performance of students (by 47%) and positive health outcomes (81% reported reduction in poor health due to use of kerosene lamps).

Viability of Energy Loan Products

The viability of the energy loan product in addressing the consumer financing gap was tested, refined, and proven to drive sustainable returns in the clean energy value chain. The positive results of this redesign enabled expansion to 5 new regions with an additional 13 microfinance branches (totaling 23 branches overall). Demand and improved sales increased from 744 clean energy loans (in the first two years) to 10,623 loans (in the last 2 years) disbursed to women through BRAC Tanzania Finance Limited.

Administrative Partner BRAC UK
Key Commercial Partner BRAC Tanzania Finance Limited
Other Partners BRAC Maendeleo Tanzania (BRAC MT), Dlight, Signify Lighting Foundation, Solar Sister Inc., Solar Sister Tanzania Ltd. Gtee.
Country Tanzania
Sector Green technologies
Open / Closed Closed
Duration September 2018 - March 2023
Approval Year 2017