Solar Energy Foundation was founded in 2006 as the first organization in Africa to introduce pay-as-you-go financing for solar energy systems. SEF provides job training, product sales, and panel repairs throughout Ethiopia; since its founding, the organization has trained 65 solar technicians, provided solar lights to 160 schools and 35 health centers, and sold over 30,000 solar lighting products.
Samson Tsegaye Lemma, the organization's founder, has been integral in the organization's success and to the increased availability of solar in Ethiopia. In 2016, the Honnold Foundation provided SEF with a grant to help Samson advance the organization through a sudden shift in governmental NGO regulations-- and in 2017, Samson hosted the Honnold Foundation's Director of Operations, Brittany Gibbons, for a Stanford University fellowship designed to upgrade their data management systems.
Solar Energy Foundation's unique pay-as-you-go financing model bring solar panels into communities that, in the past, were impossible to reach. Their focus on job training and capacity-building ensures a sense of engagement and accountability in the communities they serve, and helps cycle solar knowledge and revenue back into local economies.
The Honnold Foundation is proud to partner with the Solar Energy Foundation as they continued their efforts to build a solar-powered Ethiopia.