Welcome to #Women4theClimate on CleanbuildVoices!
It’s another Wednesday and we’re excited for you to meet our Woman Crush of the day. She is none other than Katherine Lucey.
Katherine Lucey is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Solar Sister which is an innovative last-mile distribution solution for clean energy technologies in Africa’s rural communities and harnesses the power of women entrepreneurs in such communities.
Katherine is an American who started out her career in the finance industry as an investment banker on Wall Street providing structured finance solutions to the energy sector.
She later got involved in the Solar Light for Africa project which was a philanthropic project of which she was the pro bono executive director.
Through its mission trips, the project was instrumental in training American and Ugandan youth who were then sent to do solar installations on homes, schools, and clinics in remote areas of Uganda.
Katherine saw how the project transformed the lives of the people in those communities and it inspired her to start Solar Sister.
The startup enlists, tutors, and mentors rural women to build sustainable businesses through the sales of clean cookstoves, portable solar lamps, and mobile phone chargers.
It combines the innovative potential of clean energy technologies with a web of grassroots women entrepreneurs who use their social networks to provide the most effective distribution channel to rural customers and people who are hard to reach.
Solar Sister generates its income via sales and distribution. The cost of the establishment, support and training, and ongoing management of the Solar Sister network is an investment in the long-term income opportunity.
Through growth and capacity building financed from donor support and grants, Solar Sister efficiently operates and scales its business.
At the individual level, each entrepreneur is empowered to create a financially self-sustaining business.
Since 2009, the startup has empowered 6,000 African women to light up 2 million households
Katherine has received recognition and awards for her work with Solar Sister including Clinton Global Initiative, Social Venture Network, C3E, and International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) Champion of Change Award. She is an Ashoka Fellow and a Draper Richards Kapsolarlan Foundation Entrepreneur.
Watch this space as we’ll be back for another edition of our #Women4theClimate.
Featured Image: Katherine Lucey, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Solar Sister