Solar lamps for students to study at night

Francis Mbewe

Chipata, Zambia

100% repaid



Francis Mbewe

Member since

March 2016

On-time repayments

348 installments  •  77%

About Me

Growing up in a Village and raised by great grandmother, i studied under a kerosene lamp and every month i missed school due to sickness caused by the fumes from the kerosene lamps. Its an experience i don't wish any child or woman to go through. My great grandmothers meager earning she used to have was mostly spent on my medication, while my uncles were busy abusing my aunties and spending their money on beers. I grew up knowing the challenges women go through. I grew up knowing that when a woman is empowered then the whole village is empowered. I saw it through my great grandmother Sofia and through my aunties.

Its this experience that has shaped my career path. I chose to be a Social Entrepreneur so that i can create opportunities for women and girls. So that i can enable women and girls have equal accesses to products and services that can put them on a road to economic prosperity.

My Business

For the past 3 years i set up Kukula Solar, a social business that seek to distribute 100,000 solar products to rural and peri urban communities of Zambia. 90% of these solar products will be put in the hands of women and girls so that they can be empowered to do more. For girls, to study for longer hours and for women to work for longer hours. Its here at Zidisha were we launched this social business and together we have distributed over 3,000 solar lanterns. We still have 97,000 solar lanterns to distribute, thats why i invite all our lenders here to help us get these life changing products to the women and girls I'm so passionate about!

Loan Proposal

I want to buy Solar Lamps to resale to students and families in my community who have no access to electricity and still continue using unreliable sources of energy such as kerosene, candles and batteries. The solar lamps costs $10 per unit and i want to buy 30 units with my first loan to sale to 30 students and families.

With this business, my income will grow and help expand my business and the students will benefit a lot through long hours of studying, spending less on lighting because the purchase of a solar lamp will be a one off purchase unlike what they currently do, buying candles and kerosene.

Through this loan, my business will grow by 60% in profits for the first 3 months and will continue its growth to 120% in 9 months of selling the solar lamps.

My Videos

Jan 18, 2021: Impacting lives using zidisha loans





  • Kirk Moore    Jul 9, 2021

    Thanks for paying back early!

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  • Cianna    Jan 18, 2021

    Francis is the best! I am happy to support such an innovative and pro-social entrepreneur! I will continue to lend each time Francis makes a request since he is doing some truly amazing work!

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  • David    Jan 17, 2021

    Loan was originally scheduled to take three months. Despite the pandemic hampering his business, Francis continued making regular payments, completing the loan in 13 months. I appreciate your commitment during a very challenging time.

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  • David    Dec 1, 2019

    Although the loan was for a larger amount, regular payments were received and the loan was paid in full as originally scheduled. I am pleased to be able to help such an amazing project.

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  • TomF925    Mar 7, 2019

    Thanks for sharing your website:
    I certainly recommend everyone have a look. Well done! Also, Zidisha blog has a great article about Francis:

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  • TomF925    Mar 21, 2017

    March 15, 2018. Just a friendly suggestion for everyone to visit Francis' inspiring campaign:
    March 21, 2017
    I am thrilled by each message and each photo that Francis posts in the Discussion. Have a look everyone!

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  • Jan    Mar 20, 2017

    +1 Francis' enthusiasm
    +1 Francis' story's
    +1 Francis' repayments

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  • BernadetteV    Mar 19, 2017

    Francis many regular repayments and kept us informed about his business. It was a pleasure to lend to him.

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Loan Info

Project Type

Classic Loan

Disbursed amount


Date disbursed

Jul 9, 2016

Repayment status


Projected term

3 months



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