Distributing affordable solar lamps

Gabriel Kariuki

Nairobi, Kenya

100% repaid



Gabriel Kariuki

Member since

January 2015

On-time repayments

329 installments  •  83%

About Me

My name is Gabriel Kariuki,i am a marketer by profession,I hold a masters degree in business administration (operations management option (UON) a bachelor degree in business management- marketing option (MKU) I describe myself as a honest,aggressive & an ambitious person,generally am an achiever.
I come from Kirinyaga county in central KENYA,My constituency Mwea is known for rice production,85% supply of rice in east Africa comes from this region.
Currently in solar lighting business as an LME(last mile entrepreneur).
I have noted that many Kenyans in the village interiors live below the poverty line and can hardly afford to pay for electricity connections in their home.
I note that most of the village dwellers lack information and end up spending a lot on paraffin for lighting which despite having high cost on them its also have health implications.
My main motivation to solar business was triggered by my relentless efforts in advocating for use of green products and the need to embrace the green concept in the community.
I note that solar lamp lighting has no negative implications on the environment in its generation,manufacturing and use and also solar lamps are health conscious to the users unlike normal lanterns which emit a sharp smoke which hurts children eyes when they study and also cause serious chest complications if inhaled for a prolonged period.
Solar lighting provides a long term benefit in a cost effective way.

Recently i introduced energy saving cook stoves to my product line.
I have noted that 90% of Rural homes rely on open fire for their cooking,where research has proved that every home spends between $1.5-2 dollars on firewood daily on their cooking, i noted increase in expenditure/costs on firewood which seems very unfavorable to the rural homes most of whom who leave below poverty line and can hardly bare any further increase on firewood costs.As a way of giving back to the society & caring for the enviroment i decided to introduce the philips energy saving jiko which can reduce the daily spending on firewood for rural homes to costs of between $0.2 to 0.5 dollars daily thus about 80% reduction in costs on firewood.Generally philips jiko uses Biomass i.e dried cow dung,rice husks,wood pellets(complessed sawdust) to burn hence does not rely wholly on firewood.
I note that through the philips Jiko the traditional norm of deforestation by charcoal burners will be reduced by 80% hence benefiting/saving the enviroment.
Also unlike the open fires which pose serious health and safety hazards implications to the Rural homes users ,i note that the Philips energy saving Jiko has an inbuilt fan that blows in air in the jiko thus ensuring complete combustion and eliminating 96% of smoke,this makes the jiko user friendly,safe and healthy to use because unlike the open fire where the user is exposed to smoke which is not healthy and also hazard of open fire has been past associated with burning of houses.With Philips energy saving Jiko all these hazards have been controlled.hence I find the jikos not only effective but also efficient to use interms of cost saving,health, safety but also in saving our enviroment from illegal tree cutting by charcoal burners.

My main selling points is based on emphasis on the benefits thus a cost effective,quality,safety,health and enviromentally friendly products with long term benefits.


My Business

My business activity revolves around buying solar lamps from major distributors in town and selling these solar lamps to the customers in the village interiors.My main target groups include investment groups in the village,women merry go round groups etc.Upon confirming when these groups are meeting i usually request for time allocation.Where i do my presentations, this involve introducing the products and training them on the benefits of using solar products.
In a week am able to sell 4-7 pieces with each piece making a profit of ksh 500.
With now energy cook stoves in my product line my profit margins have grown to $3500 dollars in a month.
My business is now fully incorporated into a private limited company, This has given me an upper hand in business since i am currently able to apply and target bulk orders from corporate s and government organizations

Loan Proposal

I plan to buy a computer laptop for my business, i realize nowadays the market has become very competitive with the marketing aspect assuming a paradigm shift where now most of businesses are adopting digital marketing through the websites & social media,emails etc.Digital marketing has proved very important in business as it helps to nature a relationship between a business & its customers.Through digital marketing, businesses have been able to respond promptly to customers queries hence gaining customers confidence/loyalty hence a competitive advantage.
I plan to ensure that i take the advantage of the laptop portability to engage my customers all the time even when am in the village interiors where there is no cyber cafe,Through the digital marketing i project to gain customers confidence as many of customers will be able to reach me directly even out of office working hours or when am out of office






Loan Info

Project Type

Classic Loan

Disbursed amount


Date disbursed

Jun 10, 2017

Repayment status

On Time

Projected term

4 months

Cost to entrepreneur

Service fee: $22.85




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