Climate change is clearly affecting the world’s natural landscapes and ecosystems, as well as our health. Global warming is also having a significant effect on local economies, pushing more people into poverty.
At the Global Climate Action Summit, September 12–14 in San Francisco, Inclusive Economic Growth is one of the five key issue areas. It focuses on business climate leadership and how bringing everyone on board can generate good jobs and spur global development, leaving no one behind. Inclusive economic growth is not only about emerging economies but also about committing that the most vulnerable people are reached. ‘Equality of opportunity’ and ‘participation in growth by all’, with a special focus on the working poor and the unemployed, are the very basis of inclusive growth.
Access to clean energy corresponds with access to almost every major opportunity in life: access to jobs, security, reliable food production, and better health. It transforms lives, economies, and the planet. Little Sun is tackling the economic effects of climate change in several different areas:
Making access to sustainable and affordable energy universal
When you buy Little Sun products, you make solar energy available to communities without electricity at a locally affordable price. As of December 2017, this had saved users in Sub-Saharan Africa $35,531,865 on energy expenses.
Along with our social business model of selling the same products worldwide at locally affordable prices, we develop projects to raise funds to bring Little Sun’s light and energy to those in the world who are urgently in need, such as refugees and displaced people.
Making local economies more sustainable
We strengthen communities from the inside by creating jobs and generating local profits through our local partners and network of motivated entrepreneurs. As of December 2017, 600+ African entrepreneurs had joined.
By selling Little Suns in remote areas, these entrepreneurs become solar ambassadors while making a remarkable impact on the local economy. Sales agents spread the word about access to sustainable energy and improve livelihoods in rural areas. And, importantly, women entrepreneurs in Little Sun’s agent network play an essential role in democratizing and promoting safe and sustainable lighting solutions.
‘The main reason I sell these products is not financial. I am simply proud of being involved in the project and having a positive impact on my community’, Sadio Sylla, a distributor in the Tambacounda, Senegal.
Read more about our entrepreneurial program in Senegal.
In addition to empowering African women entrepreneurs, Little Sun is passionate about the role we play in providing better personal safety to women and girls after dark. Access to light means a safer life and better healthcare for women and girls, including reliable light for delivering babies at night.
Giving a brighter future to kids off-grid
Education plays a pivotal role in economic development. We believe in the power of education to change lives. Little Sun is working to provide more children with light to do their homework or read in the evenings, as well as energy for students to charge their mobile phones – powerful tools for connectivity and information.
Moreover, Little Sun Foundation’s solar-education programmes provide children with tools and knowledge that empower them to shape a sustainable future for themselves and for the planet. Teaching kids about solar and sustainable energy will translate into an acceleration of green policies, sustainability research, and innovative tech solutions in the future.
Want to know more about inclusive economic growth? Have a look at this overview from UNDP
Carousel photo credits: Little Sun, Studio Olafur Elliason
Blog photo credits: Little Sun, Dollo Ado, SreejithLal.J, Living Goods, Artists4Climate