Question: How are you different from other organizations providing energy access to poor households?
Answer: Nuru Energy specifically targets households that live below the poverty line, which are defined as households earning less than $1.50 per day. These are households that are either unwilling or unable to purchase the most basic stand-alone solar lamp or home solar system.
Question: What about kerosene? Is it still used?
Answer: Despite development reports to the contrary, we have seen that kerosene is being used less and less for lighting purposes. Most rural villages now have access to cheaper alternatives, such as cheap flashlights or candles. There is still a need to replace these as flashlights for example are poor in quality and consume hundred of millions of disposable batteries, all of which end up in landfills.
Question: How do you decide which villages to work in?
Answer: The villages we work in are off the electricity grid and are likely to never have access to electricity because of how remote they are.
Question: How do you recruit village micro-entreprneurs?
Answer: Micro-entrepreneurs are self-selected for the most part. Our field staff in Rwanda visit with village leaders to discuss how the program works. Village leaders then recruit people in their village that will work together as a team to operate the microbusiness. Selected micro-entrepreneurs do have to commit a small amount of money ($40) to be part of the business, similar to a franchise fee. This amounts to about $8 each. The franchise fee demonstrates the commitment level of the selected micro-entrepreneurs.
Question: Do you work with female micro-entrepreneurs?
Answer: We aim to ensure that at least 50% of selected micro-entrepreneurs are women.
Question: Do you provide training?
Answer: Yes, when VLEs receive their equipment, our field staff teach them 1) basic business skills so that they are positioned to run successful businesses and 2) how to use the equipment.
Question: I am interested in setting up a village entrepreneur in a country other than Rwanda. Can I do that?
Answer: Absolutely. Please contact us
Question: How is each $1000 sponsorship allocated?
Answer: $720 is used to purchase and deliver 120 Nuru Lights (@ $6 USD each), 1 Nuru Light per household. The balance of $280 is used toward the purchase and delivery of the recharging equipment.
Question: Does Nuru Energy charge the sponsor for its operating expenses?
Answer: 100% of the money that you sponsor goes to the equipment, delivery and training of the microentrepreneurs. We charge the group of 5 microentrpreneurs a small commitment fee of $40 (about $8 each). This fee is necessary in order to ensure that the group is committed to running the business well. This fee covers our operating expenses.