Lighting Up Women's Lives

Bringing solar light and energy to rural Namibia
2015 SEED Africa Award Winner Clean Energy Namibia

In response to the growing interest in solar energy in Namibia, Lighting Up Women’s Lives will utilise Shankara Craft’s existing network of partners, supply chains, logistics and transport to expand into selling solar lighting and chargers. After a survey of community members was overwhelmingly supportive, the enterprise will commence taking orders at the village level.

The enterprise will collect inventory from a solar distributor in Rundu town when they dispatch craft orders, and sell the solar products to weavers and their communities when they return on buying trips.

Promoting solar energy will decrease firewood dependency, and reduce carbon emissions by 100kg per year for each light switched from kerosene to solar power.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

Lighting Up Women’s Lives supports women entrepreneurship while providing access to affordable and sustainable light and electricity for households, health centres and small businesses.
  • Increasing women’s business skills and leadership roles in 6 rural communities.
  • Providing a wide range of benefits from solar lighting and electricity, such as enabling health centres to refrigerate medicine, and school children to study longer and access to technology.
  • Proliferating solar energy by aiming to sell over 1,100 products in the first year of operation.
  • Reducing carbon emissions by 100kg per year for each light switched to solar.
  • Decreasing dependence on firewood.
  • Stimulating the local economy by supplying solar power to small businesses.
  • Strengthening the regional solar energy market by creating replicable synergies with handicraft business activities. 



This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

Lighting Up Women’s Lives provides women weavers and their communities with access to solar lights and chargers.

Shankara Crafts sources from and empowers 150 women weavers in six rural villages.

Omba Arts Trust will provide systems development, training and coaching in financial and administration systems.

Elephant Energy will provide pricing structures, inventory of product and sales training and support.

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