The Star (Nairobi)

19 April 2013

Kenya: Coca-Cola Launches Solar Lights

Coca-Cola has launched a partnership that will see its retailers receive solar powered energy kits for lighting, phone charging and radio.

This, the company said, will help raise the earnings, lower the cost of doing business and improve the quality of life for thousands of small business owners in Kenya.

The partnership with energy-solutions provider, One Degree Solar follows a six-month pilot project which saw 100 owners of Coca-Cola kiosks within and around Nairobi benefit from the facility last year.

The results from independent market research conducted by Nielsen showed that use of the BrightBox solar lighting kits not only increased operating times for these businesses by four hours every day, but also raised earnings by an average of 15 per cent or Sh2,736 per week and saved energy spending by over 90 per cent or over Sh250 per week.

These small business owners, 48 per cent of whom are women, would normally close at sundown due to lack of electricity, or remain open after-dark by using kerosene lamps, candles, and flashlights.

The project is being scaled up in the next twelve months to an estimated 2,000 small-scale businesses in Nairobi and its environs.

Nairobi Bottlers managing director Patrick Pech said the partnership would have great impact by empowering small businesses to operate in an environment where electricity is not always accessible.

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