Cool People Doing Cool Things: This Little Light of Mine

ID Collaborative blog post

1.2 billion people around the world still do not have access to electricity.  To address this troubling issue, Little Sun is working to improve living conditions for people in areas of the world without electricity.  Little Sun’s unique combination of beautiful design and exceptional engineering has made the lamp popular across the globe. Featuring two light levels, it’s easy to use: 5 hours of charging in the sun produces 10 hours of soft light or 4 hours of bright light.


From their website:

Who We Are: Little Sun is a social business and global project addressing the need for light in a sustainable way that benefits communities without electricity, creates local jobs, and generates local profits. We currently have distribution in over 10 African countries, including in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, and Ghana – as well as in Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the United States. Launched in July 2012 at London’s Tate Modern, the Little Sun project has since distributed over 200,000 Little Sun lamps worldwide – and that number is quickly growing.

In April 2014 Little Sun received a ground-breaking $5 million impact investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies, making it possible for us to dramatically scale our operations across the African continent.

What We Do: Our mission has two parts:

  • To provide clean, solar-powered Little Sun light to as many people in the world as we can, focusing our reach particularly in off-grid areas, which need light the most
  • To strengthen off-grid communities from the inside out, training young local entrepreneurs to become Little Sun sales agents and powering their small businesses with an initial seed capital of Little Sun lamps, which allows them to get their start

How We Do It: Little Sun’s unique combination of beautiful design and exceptional engineering has made the lamp popular across the globe. Every Little Sun sold in an area of the world with electricity enables us to deliver one Little Sun to an off-grid African community at a locally affordable price.

Little Sun is not a charity, but an inclusive social business. Rather than a short-term fix of donating lamps to an area without electricity, we work with and train local entrepreneurs to build profitable local businesses that distribute Little Sun light. For us, it’s not just about
 delivering light to people – it matters how it gets there.

Additionally we work within communities to distribute lamps through VSLAs, door-to-door sales, and in-home sales events. Working with our growing network of sales agents, we use a personal approach to spread light – and livelihoods – in off-grid communities.