Solar lanterns to help women & girls be more productive

Francis Mbewe

Chipata, Zambia

100% repaid

Entrepreneur

Name

Francis Mbewe

Location

Chipata, Zambia

On-time repayments

265 weekly installments  •  98%

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

We are requesting this loan to enable us continue distributing solar lanterns to women and girls in rural communities so that they can be more productive while saving money!

The loan will help us to order 20 solar lanterns to distribute to women and girls.

For women they will be able to trade for longer hours so that they can increase their income and continue to improve their families.

For girls, the solar lanterns will enable them to study for longer hours, helping them to prove their school grades and reducing early marriages.

We are very positive that with continual distribution of the solar lanterns, we will be helping families to thrive and villages to develop.

Thanks so very much for helping me me with the loan!

Together we are bringing life changing products in the hands of women and girls who need them the most.

Thanks you! ZIKOMO

My Videos

Jan 18, 2021: Impacting lives using zidisha loans

Feedback

9

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  • 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:
    www.kukulasolar.com
    I certainly recommend everyone have a look. Well done! Also, Zidisha blog has a great article about Francis:
    p2p-microlending-blog.zidis...

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  • TomF925    Mar 21, 2017

    March 15, 2018. Just a friendly suggestion for everyone to visit Francis' inspiring campaign:
    LIGHTING UP LIVES IN RURAL ZAMBIA
    igg.me/at/BU8v3PUek-U
    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 de Wit    Mar 20, 2017

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

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    • Francis Mbewe    Mar 20, 2017

      Thanks so very much Jan for your Positive Feedback and also for loaning to my fourth loan request. Together we will do so much for in displacing kerosene use in slum and rural Zambia!

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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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    • Francis Mbewe    Mar 20, 2017

      Thanks so very much BernadetteV! The Loan you provided me with helped reach more women and school going children with solar lamps! Thanks and i invite you to be part of the next loan request in will be making!

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  • TomF925    Jul 3, 2016

    July 3, 2016. Excellent communicator. Please see discussion. Francis is passionate about replacing harmful kerosene lamps with clean, practical, affordable solar. These products save the families $70 in just one year.
    March 17, 2017. He was just now awarded a prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship!

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Loan Info

Project Type

Classic Loan

Disbursed amount

$1,174.92

Date disbursed

Aug 8, 2019

Repayment status

Late

Projected term

4 months

Cost to entrepreneur

Service fee: 5% of $1,174.92 = $43.83

Credit risk payment: $219.35

Lenders

Dianne

Maryville, United States

W

WilsonLending

Atlanta, United States

S

susa

Forchtenberg, Germany

investor

Candiac, Canada

C

chkuo

Taipei, Taiwan

D

dkapplerb

Toronto, Canada

PaulE

Cockeysville, MD, United States

G

garrybuck

Oro Valley, United States

AltruisticSelfishnes

Chicago, United States

aarongabrielson

Heber City, United States

S

soren

Göteborg, Sweden

L

ldron7

Utah, United States

Martin

Manama, Bahrain

R

rcmssr

Woodbury, United States

T

Tallago3

Munich, Germany

P

peterschinkel

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Pere

Barcelona, Spain

dsmart978

Bondurant, United States

S

Steveandson

Arlington, United States

J

JakeA

Wellington, New Zealand

C

cjmenchaca

Austin, United States

BJ

Brandon Joz

North Carolina, United States

C

CrazyCanuck

Nepean, Canada

S

SelvaMarcus

Green Cove Springs, United States

A

Annana

Kanata, Canada

rasmus

Bern, Switzerland

J

JandC

Watsonville, United States

Erica

Caledon, Canada

E

ebronken

Oslo, Norway

Cloudways

Malta, Malta

D

Dschejwoulff

München, Germany

P

pillepalle

Osnabrück, Germany

P

PhilACK

Brampton, Canada

M

mkfiddler

Santa Barbara, United States

M

Mårten

Inden, Switzerland

Jouni

Finland

S

SvenWaage

Stavanger, Norway

pentatonicscale

Niiza-shi, Japan

J

JonMichael

Winnipeg, Canada

Namaste250

Pittsford, United States

L

LeegleechN

Sunnyvale, CA, United States

JennyinParis

Paris, France

ads68

Melbourne, Australia

R

Rking

Eugene, United States

Christopher

Copenhagen, Denmark

Y

Yevrahs

Dallas, Texas, United States

rfriedenberg

New Jersey, United States

P

Peksa

Espoo, Finland

V

Valis

Singapore, Singapore

1

1711mp

Brooklyn, United States

Maxey

Amstelveen, Netherlands

A

Andy

Berlin, United States

nakamura

United States

sarna

Toronto, Canada

A

Arnfinn

Aasgardstrand, Norway

fairspirit

Utrecht, Netherlands

GH

Gav H

Langley, Canada

Bobrm2k3

Charleston, United States

Marktwain

Telford, United Kingdom

L

Liz

Nowra, Australia

joaoferraz

RINCHOA, Portugal

JTShorty

Gorham, Maine, United States

BF

Bob Fitzjohn

Fontvielle, Monaco, Yemen

mikeoberhaus

San Francisco, United States

indrayudha

Jakarta, Indonesia

Generaal

Antwerp, Belgium

R

run426

DeBary, United States

O

Ohio

Ohio, United States

D

doublehelix

Philadelphia, United States

ibc123

Seattle, United States

xtrahardware

Cazenovia, United States

JoaoManuel

Santiago Do Escoural, Portugal

somuchjackson

Boston, United States

H

happytrailsjpd

South Bend, United States

fransk

Culemborg, Netherlands

mikeice

Kohler, United States

Evan Lamos

Brussels, Belgium

G

GanSatya

United States

sderickson

Berkeley, CA, United States

T

thebonseung

Republic of Korea

O

oonbug

United States

pvilliger

Zurich, Switzerland

D

drorm

United States

O

osubucks45

United States

R

Rootdet

Fairfax, United States

Paul Buchheit

Mountain View, United States

M

Mal57

Australia

bb4dogs

United States

S

sarah4d2

Saint Louis, United States

A

ajayhk

San Jose, United States

smastermind

Jerusalem, Israel

mepster

San Francisco, Ca, United States

GMc50

Australia

chriseyre

Fremont, Ca, United States

TyWee

Manila, Philippines

B

blambert

United States

Grant Xavier Storer

Seattle, Wa, United States

Pascal Coyles

Ghent, Belgium

Bryan

Houston, United States

K

KiraDee

United States

C

ColoradoSkier

Denver, United States

SV

sven vdk

Twickenham, United Kingdom

S

Stephan

Netherlands

KM

Kirsty M

United Kingdom

S

Sven

Netherlands

E

Erich

Zurich, Switzerland

Jeroen Decock

Gent, Belgium

Dave Bogard

New York, United States

Family Mueller

Petershagen, Germany

R

Robert

Berlin, Germany

S

Steve

United States

SMOICE

Berlin, Germany

MW

Matt Willis

United States

Jan de Wit

Utrecht, Netherlands

Anna Hoad

Toronto, Canada

Laurie

United States

Kevin

San Francisco, United States

WE

Wendy Emlyn

Devon, United Kingdom

Jonathan Ely

Aldershot, United Kingdom

Carl D Patterson

United Kingdom

Tom Eggert

Madison, United States

Ren

Minneapolis/StPaul, United States

M

Margaret

United States

David

Canada

JH

Joseph Hwang

Houston, United States

B

Berni

Germany

T

TP

United States

R

Ray

Australia

Joost

Noord Brabant, Netherlands

Sla Tyr

Switzerland

DD

Dixie Davis

Kyle, United States

C

Camm

Australia

Rosella

Australia

A

Axel

Berlin, Germany

A

Anja

Germany

Frosty

North Pole, United States

Sayuri

United Kingdom

D

Dan

Australia

Ask Francis a question about this loan project, share news and photos of your own, or send a simple note of thanks or inspiration.

Please log in to comment.

  • Francis Mbewe    Aug 18, 2021

    The business has been affected by the COVID Pandemic

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  • Francis Mbewe    Jul 20, 2021

    My city has been hit with the third wave of covid and it's affected the business due to the lockdown of the province.

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  • Francis Mbewe    Jul 13, 2021

    Low sales due to lockdown and some orders have not arrived yet.

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  • Francis Mbewe    Jun 27, 2021

    We have a national lockdown due to covid 19 and our stock of clean cookstoves have not yet reached our stores. will revert back to normal payment once things go back to normal. Thanks

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  • Francis Mbewe    Jun 27, 2021

    There is national lockdown and our clients income has reduced drastically. We have a 21 days total lockdown with the raise in covid cases. will return to my normal repayments once this is lifted. Thanks for understanding and continued support.

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  • Francis Mbewe    Jun 20, 2021

    Thanks for the Pay it Forward funds that I have raised. I will restock clean Cookstove inventory so that I reach more people. Thanks alot

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  • Francis Mbewe    Jun 18, 2021

    The previous Pay it Forward of $49 helped me buy a smartphone to capture data for my customers who are buying clean cookstoves on the rent-to-own model. This is helping my business to efficiently run smoothly in a new district and helping to have customer information instantly.

    Thanks so very much!

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      • Francis Mbewe    Jun 18, 2021

        Hey laurie,

        Thanks so very much!

        Sure I will send an email to Julia and ask her.

        Thanks for your continued support!

        ZIKOMO. Thankyou

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  • Francis Mbewe    Jun 17, 2021

    Dear Backers,

    Thanks so very much for the funds! I will buy a smartphone that will help me ensure that I capture all the information for my clean cookstoves customers who are buying on Rent to own model.

    I really appreciate you and thanks for your continued support!

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  • Francis Mbewe    Jun 11, 2021

    Thanks so very much to all my backers for these funds! I will be buying a Smartphone to help with my field officer based in Lundazi to record customer's clients who are buying clean cookstoves on a rent-to-own model. This will help if clients record-keeping for after-sales service and also tracking of clients for repayment schedules.

    I really appreciate this and thanks a million!

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  • Francis Mbewe    Jun 7, 2021

    Dear Lenders, Thanks so very much for the loan you lent me. I received the money and managed to order more solar lights and clean cookstoves. We have started the distribution to rural communities and we will keep you posted.

    Thanks again for lending to my social business.

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  • Francis Mbewe    May 12, 2021

    Thanks so very much my lenders for lending me yet another loan! In two day I managed to have my loan fully funded! Zikomo. Thanks a million!

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  • Olly Ishmael    May 10, 2021

    Wonderful project. I wish you every success

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  • wisdom2080    May 10, 2021

    Keep up the great job! Hope you can sell other stuff to increase margins to help more-

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    • Francis Mbewe    May 11, 2021

      You are very right and we are looking for other life-changing products that we can introduce to the communities we serve. Thanks for your support towards growing my business.

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  • Cianna    May 9, 2021

    All the best to you as you continue this important work!

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  • Francis Mbewe    May 8, 2021

    Hello, my lenders,

    I want to thank all of you for your continued support. My success has been made possible because of your continued support and lending me money.

    The last microloan I got of ZMW20,000 helped me to distribute 450 clean cookstoves in Lundazi. The total revenue I made was ZMW112,500 in 3 months and managed to repay the loan and reinvest the other money in my building project for the family house.

    Through your support, I have grown my business and managing to take my two daughters to Private schools.

    I have managed to employ a total of 14 people who are working in my business and helping their families.

    You have helped me turn my ideas into reality and transform many people's lives in rural communities of Zambia.

    Thanks so much for your continued support and looking forward to working with you on my next microloan application.

    Zikomo! Thank you so very much!

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  • Francis Mbewe    Apr 15, 2021

    Greetings to you my lenders,

    The past 2 months have been very interesting at Kukula Solar as we continue to distributing clean cookstoves and solar lamps to villages in Lundazi District. The smiles that we see in these villages are so infectious. Women and girls are happy that they no longer need to walk a long distance to collect firewood for cooking because the clean cookstoves we are selling to them use twigs and cow dung.

    Many rural households now have access to clean solar lighting, something that is helping the whole household.

    We at Kukula Solar are very happy with your continued support

    Thanks so very much and will continue to keep you updated on the developments.

    ZIKOMO! THANK YOU!

  • Francis Mbewe    Mar 16, 2021

    To my lenders, i want to thank all of you for your continued support in making my business grow. We have started distribution of clean cookstoves to Lundazi and so far the demand for the products is high. We have our Delivery Truck moving from one village to another and we hope to be done with 325 clean cookstove distribution by second-week of April.

    I have tried to add pictures of our work in progress but it seems the add a photo option is currently not working.

    I will send an update with pictures soonest.

    Thanks for the loan and always remember you are part of the impact my business is creating in these rural and slum communities of Eastern Province of Zambia.

    ZIKOMO (Thank you)

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  • Francis Mbewe    Jan 22, 2021

    Words can't explain how excited I feel that the loan was funded in one and half-day! this is clear proof of all my lender's belief in what my business is doing and the impact it has on people and the planet.

    With this loan, I will continue with the distribution of solar lamps and clean cookstoves to Lundazi so that more families can have clean sources of lighting and cooking.

    This will help my business expand in new districts and villages and also impact more households with life-changing products such as solar lamps and clean cookstoves.

    I want to thank all of you my lenders for your continued support and always know that together we are transforming lives for the better, one village at a time!

    Zikomo! Thank you

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    • Laurie    Jan 22, 2021

      Sorry I missed you this time around, Francis!
      I'm glad, though, that your loan got funded so quickly!

      Congratulations!!

      Best wishes, and please stay safe. :)

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      • Francis Mbewe    Jan 22, 2021

        Hi Laurie, its ok! Next time you will loan me.

        Thanks for your continued support and I will keep you posted of the impact the loan is having on rural communities.

        Zikomo!

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        • Laurie    Jan 22, 2021

          Yes, Francis, I always do intend to help.

          You're very welcome (unakaribishwa sana)* for the
          continued support. It's a great thing you're doing!

          *(That's from an online English-to-Swahili translation,
          and I know those translations aren't always accurate,
          so please let me know if that's incorrect.)

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  • Erik G    Jan 21, 2021

    Francis... love the project! Also great to see your professional communication with your lenders and well thought through social impact business plan. Great video as well! I feel honoured to be able to lend you all that was needed and still open for you to have the loan request fully funded. So glad a saw your project just in time! I've spent time in rural Zambia and Zim so know exactly the problem you are helping to address. So great to see social entrepreneurs like yourself setting a great leadership example. With you every success ... Erik

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    • Francis Mbewe    Jan 22, 2021

      Thanks so very much Erik for all your support! Rural communities I Zambia still need more support to help families transition from the use of dirty sources of lighting and cooking to clean energy. I'm doing my part at Kukula Solar to transition rural communities to a more sustainable lifestyle. Displacing kerosene and firewood with solar lamps and clean cookstoves that use twigs.

      Your continued support makes this possible and thanks so very much! Zikomo kwambiri.

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  • Erik G    Jan 21, 2021

    love it Francis..

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