The Sun shines on Women Entrepreneurs in Kenya
Cherie and Romonah
Romonah Omukhobero - Entrpreneur
Sunny money products in action
In March 2010 Cherie met Romonah Omukhobero in Kibera, Nairobi. Romonah, who is a mother of four children in her forties, told Cherie, that becoming a franchisee for SolarAid changed her life. She can now proudly pay her daughter's school fees. When Romonah heard about Sunnymoney, she knew she wanted to get involved for the good of her family and her wider community.
Sunny money is SolarAid's micro-enterprise scheme that trains entrepreneurs to sell new solar products to help free themselves from poverty. As a very successful franchisee, Romonah had to learn to market herself as well as prove her honesty, commitment and dedication to hard work. She personally uses SolarAid equipment in her own home and she is currently testing the 5W powerpack and has been doing this for the past two months. This new addition to the existing products can light four rooms for twelve hours or two rooms for twenty five hours. It can also power radios and is intended for larger households.
The past few months have been particularly busy for the Sunnymoney team in Kenya and following product field tests, which were carried out in rural communities over the summer months, they have imported six hundred units of their new micro solar product. It is a small 1.5 watt solar product which powers a bright LED light bulb and charges mobile phones, called 'The Ravi', named after the Hindu solar deity. Romonah has been struggling to keep up with demand for the Ravi products since she began actively selling them on 7 October 2009 in Western Kenya. The Sunnymoney team have been forced to step up the import of solar products and aim to have over four thousand products in Kenya by the end of the year.
Cherie and Romonah spoke about how the entrepreneurs plan to expand their markets and sell to new and existing customers. She explained to Cherie that she educates people in the health benefits of SolarAid: there is no smoke, as with kerosene lamps, no danger from fire, and children are less likely to get asthma. Romonah and many of the other entrepreneurs offer a service to those in the local community to charge mobile phones with the units and charge a small fee for the service but as she pointed out although the solar units are fairly expensive, they are a one off payment, unlike candles, which have to be replaced on a daily basis.
Cherie is a Patron of Solar Aid and her Foundation for Women is encouraging women like Romonah to become entrepreneurs in developing countries around the World.
To view Romonah's SolarAid profile click here
To learn more about SolarAid click here
To read about SolarAid's project Sunnymoney click here
To learn more about the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women click here