Portfolio Learning

Lessons from HelloSolar’s integrated distribution/mobile money model in Ethiopia

In August 2019 we promoted early pilot findings on the launch of HelloSolar, a new enterprise established with co-funding with the UK government and USAID that sought to integrate a new Pay-As-You-Go solar business with an existing mobile money operator in Ethiopia.

DFID and USAID logos

Early positive business results and high satisfaction levels among new customers saw us extend our support to help HelloSolar expand into new regions and grow their sales.

As of January 2020, HelloSolar has gone from a total of 500 customers to more than 5,000 within 12 months. They now operate from 37 sales points in five regions: Somali, Amhara, Gambella, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR). Two more regions will also be entering the HelloSolar portfolio as well as new products focusing on SMEs and farming needs.

In this latest report, they highlight the learnings they have seen whilst experiencing such rapid growth in a market with substantial challenges in areas telecommunications and regulations. Their lessons include:

Market Learnings Enterprise Learnings Product and Customer Learnings
ForEx risks Funding Gaps Customer Outreach
Regulatory environments IT Systems Default Risks
Customs and market delays Distributions Reaching the Last Mile
After-Sales Product/Market Fit


Download the full report [2MB]