Sustainable Options

Empowering rural communities with solar and mobile money services
2016 SEED Africa Award Winner Clean Energy Blantyre, Malawi

The Sustainable Rural Growth and Development Initiative (SRGDI) extends the sales network of well-established enterprises, by training local youth associations to act as distribution agents and mobilising local communities to set up self-financing schemes. SRGDI receives a 10% commission on the sales of solar lamps through its distribution network, and 2% on mobile payment services. The enterprise establishes a distribution network for solar and mobile money services in rural areas without access to electricity. By working with youth village savings and loan associations, it creates new sources of microfinance for solar technology.

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

Sustainable Options enhances entrepreneurial activities in communities and provides employment opportunities for young people. Improving access to solar lighting also increases the productivity of rural communities and opportunities for better livelihoods.
  • Reducing the negative health effects of fossil lighting technologies, e.g. kerosene lamps.
  • Improving access to lighting to increase productivity within rural communities.
  • Providing rural communities with business and financial management training.
  • Reducing pressure on natural resources by providing a clean energy source.
  • Reducing carbon emissions, averting around 18,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions by replacing 50,000 kerosene lamps with solar lights within the next year.

  • Increasing the income of young employees by 35% from an average of USD14 to USD49 per month.
  • Reducing costs for kerosene and fossil energy for rural households by an average of USD70 per year.
  • Improving the rural population’s access to microloan schemes and mobile money services.



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.

Sustainable Rural Growth and Development Initiative (SRGDI) markets solar and mobile money products and coordinates the sales network.

Total Malawi Ltd provides solar products and business training for distribution agents.

TNM Malawi Mobile Phone Services provides mobile money services and training on microloans to the youth village savings and loan associations.

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Collaborate with Sustainable Options

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Maynard Nyirenda
P.O Box 40245, Blantyre
Blantyre, Malawi
Tel: +265 888749928

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