Business Profile

Trust Energy Africa (Formerly Pearl Entrepreneurs Academy) is a cleantech social enterprise established in 2018 to empower under-served markets in last mile communities with holistic solutions to their economic and social challenges by providing them with access to clean, affordable, durable and high-quality life-enhancing products and economic opportunities. Trust Energy works with families in rural and urban slums of Uganda to address their energy needs. Trust Energy’s solar products is designed to replace kerosene, allowing families to save money while improving their health. The Enterprise aims to spread clean energy products across Uganda and Africa with the help of a direct sales network of Entrepreneurs. Trust Energy provides education, distribution, financing and after-sales support for clean energy products which include portable solar lanterns, and Solar Home systems to families living on less than $2 a day in rural Uganda that create healthier and safer homes, increase productivity, reduce household expenses and provide additional income-generating opportunities.

Director with a volunteer from Germany

Why Solar Energy

  • Solar energy is environmentally friendly. Using solar lights plays a major role in reducing carbon footprint that has been created by producing energy from non-renewable energy sources. Only by slowly acquiring solar and other types of renewable energy it will be possible to decrease the problems caused by exhaustion of our planet’s resources.
  • Solar energy is cost effective. Although this might seem a bit expensive technology at first, by doing the right math you will see that the money saved from being paid to your electric energy provider will eventually add up and cover the costs of the installment of the solar lighting within a matter of just a few months.
  • Solar energy is unlimited source. Solar energy is inexhaustible. As long as you live in a place where there is some sunlight, there is no reason why you could not acquire it and produce energy out of it.
  • Solar lighting systems require very little maintenance. Solar lighting systems are one of the easiest to be maintained. Apart from doing a few check-ups and cleaning throughout the year, there is nothing else much you have to do to ensure the longevity of your solar lighting.

What we do

Trust Energy Africa purchases solar products wholesale from the manufacturers and sells them to customers directly through the solarpreneurs stationed at the community or nearby. Solarpreneurs are the link between TEA and local communities. Engaging local leaders is key to building trust and credibility within the villages. Customers are generally families living on less than $2 a day without access to electricity. Some products, generally smaller units, are sold outright, others are purchased under a rent-to-own system.

  • Trust Energy Africa distributes clean energy products in rural and peri-urban communities where people live on less than $2 a day.
  • TEA partner with VSLA group leaders and local leaders in Mayuge district to educate and distribute life-changing products to their people.
  • Because some of our customers cannot afford to pay upfront costs for the solar products, we utilize a unique rent-to-own model and utilized the strong ties within these tight-knit communities and the local respect for village leaders. With thousands of lantern distributed within two years, we have shown that our model is effective and our default rate is small at 1.5%.

Business model

Our business model is simple- we recruit local women and youth as “Energypreneurs” who reach out to communities to distribute the solar lanterns, solar home kits, and improved cookstoves. The Energypreneurs offers education about the products and a payment plan, called “Rent to Own”, making it affordable for the poorest communities to repay a bit at a time. As these Solarpreneurs are often part of the communities as well, they’re able to provide customer service and assistance in the local language.

Our Team

Elvis Kadhama

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Elvis is a Ugandan young social entrepreneur with a social aspect focused on Agriculture, Education, Health, Financial Inclusion, and Energy, Elvis is passionate and committed to empowering 100,000 households with access to clean energy products in Uganda by 2030. Elvis is a Young African Leadership Initiative-YALI RLC EA 2018, Grow Movement Fellow 2018, awardee of Enventure Enterprise clean energy start-up loan 2019, a graduate with a diploma in Business Studies from Uganda College of Commerce Tororo and with 4 years’ experience in social business management. Elvis works as the executive director at TEA, Social Enterprise working to empower low-income people in remote communities of Uganda with a goal of distributing 100,000 solar lamps to last-mile communities of Mayuge and whole Uganda by 2030.

Natima Simon

Co-Founder & project officer

Natima

Natima Simon, a 21-year-old, high school graduate and co-founder of the social enterprise Trust Energy Africa (TEA). As a social entrepreneur, I am driven to promote the clean energy transition in rural Uganda through social business. TEA became the vehicle through which I am transforming the lives of low-income people in rural Uganda.

Trust Energy Africa, a community-based organization founded and led by Elvis Kadhama.

Elvis is a 26 years-old, environmentally conscious and Mayuge-born college-graduate with a vision derived from his own personal experience.

He wants to help youth and women save and generate income to escape the poverty trap.

“TEA” launched with mobilizing community members into Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) to help them escape the poverty trap through Savings and internal loans, Renewal Energy products like Solar Lights, improved cookstoves and Water Filters to help them in becoming self-reliant.

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