Stories

M-KOPA Esther Mutua

Esther Mutua

Store owner, Kipandini, Kenya

I have a shop at Kipandini. Before I got the fridge, I (do) put my soda on the shelf of the shop. “It was not cold is was warm. But the moment I got the fridge more people came, because the soda became cold.

M-KOPA Susan Sugut

Susan Sugut

Loan recipient

I started with a small loan of 7,000 ($70) and decided to buy a sheep so that when I finished paying, I can sell for a higher amount, and use that income to buy a cow, then I know that I will have progressed. 

M-KOPA Nikhil Nair

Nikhil Nair

Sales director

What we provide to the sales agents is formal engagement, moving from a formal sector to an informal sector. We also provide better economic opportunities.

Expected Development Impact

Market development

  • Creating good-quality jobs in East Africa: M-KOPA currently employs over 800 staff, works with approximately 1,600 direct sales representatives, and is planning to nearly double its workforce in the next 5 years and increase the number of direct sales representatives to 2,500; 
  • Economic contribution: M-KOPA generates direct economic value in Kenya and Uganda through the payment of salaries to employees and commissions to sales agents; this economic contribution will increase by 160 percent over the next five years; 
  • Domestic manufacturing supply chain development: M-KOPA commissions a portion of its solar panel production from a Kenyan manufacturer and plans to expand its domestic procurement by 40% by 2020, enabling growth in jobs in its supply chain, as well stimulating growth across the entire solar system value chain in East Africa. 
  • Linkages with downstream service providers: M-KOPA works with local service providers to securely dispose of its batteries and other e-waste and to refurbish used system components to enable their future use. This creates additional local economic linkages that are expected to grow in the coming years.
     

Quality jobs for women

In East Africa, more than 50% of M-KOPA’s employees are women (two times higher than the average utility) and 38% of commissioned direct sales representatives are also women.

Women's Economic Empowerment

  • Creating good-quality jobs for women: In East Africa, more than 50% of M-KOPA’s employees are women (two times higher than the average utility) and 38% of commissioned direct sales representatives are also women. Women employees have access to training opportunities, and other benefits such as healthcare, pension, and maternity leave. 
  • Women in governance, ownership and leadership: M-KOPA employs a significant proportion of women in leadership (29%) which is expected to grow over the coming 3-5 years. M-KOPA will also look for opportunities to increase women in leadership and governance of the organization.
     

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

  • Providing renewable energy to rural East African households, thus reducing carbon emissions: More than 3 million people across 600,000 households use affordable electricity supplied from M-KOPA solar home systems rather than thermal sources; this is expected to grow to over 1.5 million households (> 7.5 million users) by 2022. M-KOPA’s current fleet helps avoid approximately 140,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year and contributes to the reduction of kerosene use by households by about 90 million lighting hours per month.