FINCA International’s BrightLife program has impacted over 100,000 people in Uganda with life-enhancing clean energy products. This milestone, made possible by generous donors, comes three years since BrightLife started business-to-consumer operations in the country.
Launched to provide last-mile distribution and end-user financing for basic service products, BrightLife is core to FINCA International’s social enterprise mission. Against a backdrop of deep energy exclusion—73 percent of Ugandans are unserved by on-grid electricity—the program is enabling a growing number of low-income people in the country to access clean energy affordably and conveniently.
BrightLife products include solar lanterns, solar home systems and improved cookstoves targeted at Ugandans earning less than $4 a day. Customers can affordably acquire the products through pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) financing, which allows them to pay over time through monthly installments. Moreover, by working directly with manufacturers, BrightLife can bring its products to market at the lowest possible cost to customers.
Ugandans using the products perceive improvements in safety and health outcomes, which they attribute to their BrightLife products. BrightLife expects additional impact with the introduction of productive use appliances into its product mix. These assets, such as solar-powered water pumps and maize grinders, allow customers to increase productivity and generate additional income.
Beyond energy inclusion, BrightLife is also contributing to the effort to bring more Ugandans into the financial fold. PAYGo financing enables unbanked customers to build credit profiles, which opens the door to accessing broader credit and savings options. BrightLife is working closely with FINCA Uganda, the local microfinance institution, to design tailored financial products for BrightLife energy customers. The goal is to build a bridge to more impactful financial inclusion.
With an eye toward impacting the next 100,000 lives, BrightLife recently amplified its human resources. It has recruited stellar marketing, customer experience, operations and finance talent with vast experience gained from industry-leading companies. BrightLife has also onboarded dozens of new sales agents following weeks of training on the program’s mission, products and values. BrightLife can now count on a network of 45 sales agents to take its impact to the next level.