Imagine a guy with a twitter moniker of his face as he jumps out of a plane and a blog entitled Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin,’ and it may be no surprise that he is part of a dynamic, top-selling, diviLite duo. Austin and Jacob are selling diviLites with Burro Brand in WaleWale, Ghana. As they traverse Northern Ghana, Austin has learned this, Many of these villagers are actually sitting on a good chunk of money (relatively) and simply have never had the access to or been presented with a reliable solar product, but they sure enough can afford it. Here is an excerpt from Austin’s blog and the 1st of more posts to come about the adventures of Austin and Jacob.
I’ve been doing a bit of small business development lately. A Ghana-based American company that sells solar products and such has been in contact with me about a trial of selling solar lights to villagers. The deal is they would give me 40 solar lights to sell for 48 Cedis (22ish bucks) or for 6 Cedis for 8 weeks. The idea is that a student can’t afford to pay 48 straight up, so they can pay 6 a week for the time and then pay off the light. The further deal is that I am doing this with a local Ghanaian, a teacher and friend at my school actually, so that he can turn a small profit, continue selling more lights after another shipment, and then possibly sell other products if all goes well. It turns out that the students still can’t even afford the 6 cedis a week, but the middle-class Ghanaian like teachers are snatching these lights up. My friend Jacob and I sold 40 of these lights to teachers at our school and one other nearby high school in about two days. Some are paying the weekly, and others just paid the 48 outright. It’s going so well that Jacob will get an additional 100 or 200 more lights to sell over the next couple months and keep some profit. With that profit he will then be able to buy some of the other solar products and resell them for a profit, thus ideally putting him on a path of being a reputable solar product reseller in the area here. He has a lot of work to do, and I’m helping him, but I think it will go well and he will be able to grow his small barbershop/clothes store into a bigger store with solid American products that will help villagers here in the north. The technology on these lights is cool because there is an app on a smartphone that activates the lights after payments are made. If the first week’s payment is made for a specific light, the phone and light pair wirelessly and the light is activated for 7 days. Once the 7 days are up, the solar panel light won’t charge, they have to then come back and pay the next week.
We appreciate quality partners like Burro Brand and visionary entrepreneurs like Jacob and Austin who are bringing the power to thrive to communities previously lacking access.
To read Austin’s blog visit here.
To learn more about Burro Brand in Ghana, check out their website here.