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How Namene distribution partner ENRAPOWER is reaching last mile homes with solar lights in Zimbabwe

Namene believes that business can be a force for good. That’s why we actively look to work with companies who share our values, like our distribution partner ENRAPOWER. Together we aim to empower every community through clean technology with the free, abundant power of the sun. 

Since 2022, we’ve been working with ENRAPOWER – the first distribution partner of our solar lights – in Zimbabwe. They have been delivering our life-changing lights to some of the most remote off-grid homes across the country. 

We caught up with the founder of ENRAPOWER, Lawrence Hoba, who shares his experience of working with Namene.

Lawrence, how was ENRAPOWER introduced to Namene?

Lawrence: We were put in contact with Namene by the Global Distributors Collective (GDC). A year on from our introduction, ENRAPOWER was brought on as one of Namene’s first two distribution partners in Zimbabwe. We helped support the pilot carbon programme from February 2022 and have since grown to cover six districts in the Masvingo province in the South East of the country.

What has the collaboration with Namene been like so far?

Lawrence: The collaboration with Namene has been a very positive one right from the onset. The partnership has allowed us to learn from Namene’s experience in other countries and contribute to best practices. A particular positive is that this has not been a top-down approach but a true collaboration which continues to grow. 

What has the feedback and response to Namene solar lights been like from customers?

Lawrence: The lights have received a really positive response from the customers with more than 50,000 lights already having been distributed in the area in which we operate. Customers are impressed by the quality, price and warranty terms of the lights, something which they hardly get in the market. Many customers say they continue saving money from the lights long after the initial purchase, as they no longer use kerosene, candles and torch batteries which they used to buy every few days.

Lawrence with an SM 200 solar light demonstrating the benefits of the lights.

Lawrence with an SM 200 solar light demonstrating the benefits of Namene solar lights.

An impactful distribution partner

Namene believes solar lights can have the biggest impact in the most remote off-grid communities. How does ENRAPOWER help Namene as a distribution partner reach customers in the most remote locations?

Lawrence: ENRAPOWER’s work has been largely focused on ensuring that last-mile communities have access to reliable, affordable, and accessible renewable energy solutions and this is what made the partnership with Namene valuable as our goals and values converged.

Under this project, ENRAPOWER has teams made up of sales staff and independent agents based in last-mile communities and spread across all areas that we are distributing in to ensure we reach clients in the most remote locations. The community-based agents make new light purchases and warranty replacements easy for clients which is a key success factor for the project. The sales teams also work with motorcycles which enable them to access all terrains and even places which do not have regular road networks.  

The ENRAPOWER team in Zimbabwe with Namene solar lights.

Empowering communities in Zimbabwe

What has been the highlight of the partnership so far?

Lawrence: Our work as a distributor for Namene helped us quickly recover from the effects of Covid-19. It has also helped us refine and expand our last-mile distribution efforts

We have grown our network to over 150 community-based agents and 20 sales staff. The majority of this team are women and youths who were previously not gainfully employed. With the Namene solar lights carbon project we have not only seen communities gain access to a reliable lighting source but have seen lives of our agents improving significantly.  Some are using their income to get back to college, acquire drivers’ licenses or start their own small business. These things would not have been possible without this project.”

Thank you, Lawrence – we look forward to a long future of working together.

To date, Namene has distributed over 90,000 lights in Zimbabwe, empowering communities, saving families money, and eliminating harmful emissions from candles and kerosene lamps. 

At Namene, we know that without knowledgeable, reliable distribution partners based on shared values this work would not be possible. 

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