d.light Summary

d.light is a social enterprise that designs, manufactures and distributes affordable solar power products to low-income households and small businesses in the developing world.

Over two billion people worldwide live without reliable access to electricity
Over two billion people worldwide live without reliable access to electricity, with over half this number lacking energy altogether. Of these, the vast majority live in remote, rural areas where it is uneconomical to extend the national grid.

d.light was founded by Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun in 2006 with an initial prototype solar lantern and an ambitious plan to bring safe, bright and renewable lighting to people around the globe.  

By leveraging advances in low-cost solar technology, the company worked to develop a high-quality low-cost solar lantern for under $10 that could provide safe, bright light at a fraction of the cost of alternative fuels.  Since then, they have produced a high quality low-cost lanter for under $5.

d.light's products proved popular with consumers but the business met several major barriers as they looked to scale. In 2009 Shell Foundation and d.light forged a long-term partnership to create a global a self-sufficient business capable of delivering decentralised solar power to low-income communities across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Business Model

Family-with-dlight-lanterns-(1).jpgOur partnership has focused on accelerating d.light's innovation of affordable and reliable solar products and creating new distribution mechanisms to reach the people who need them most.

d.light solar products provide high-quality light, long-term cost savings and immediate health benefits to households, farms and small businesses.

They have a created range of modular products from desk lights and portable lanterns to solar home systems that power radios and mobile phones. The idea is that their customers start small, see value and have the flexibility to pick and choose from a variety of modular products to suit their unique needs.

Together we have pioneered new models to make these products accessible in over 60 countries – establishing innovative distribution partnerships with a range of corporates, national distributors and local retailers to help increase adoption rates by low-income communities across Africa and Asia.

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