Solar Sister in the News

TEDxBerlin “Three Stories of Change: Light. Hope. Opportunity.”  | TEDxBerlin 2011 “High Energy” 
November 21, 2011
“Katherine Lucey is the Founder and CEO of Solar Sister. After 20 years as an investment banker with experience in the energy sector, Katherine turned her attention to find a sustainable solution to the energy poverty. watch the video…
Treehugger “Solar Sister and NextAid Showcase 5 Promising Technologies for Africa” | Treehugger
September 22, 2011
“Walking into the futuristic Yotel near Times Square with a robot in the lobby for a coat check, you wouldn’t expect to find a room full of some of the most promising, innovative technologies for sustainable development. But Solar Sister, which has created an environmental women-centered entrepreneurship model to eradicate poverty, and NextAid, an organization that uses music to support sustainable development projects in Africa, came together to bring these technologies to the public eye at their Illuminate event earlier this week.” read more…
“Solar Sister wants to light up rural Africa” | Christian Science Monitor
July 1, 2011
“One-year-old start up Solar Sister is using cosmetics company AVON’s model to distribute solar energy in Uganda, Sudan, and Rwanda. To learn more about the “business in a bag” model that’s giving rural African women an income and a renewable light source, Dowser spoke to Katherine Lucey, Solar Sister’s founder.” read more…
“Solar Sister: Bringing a market based, gender inclusive, bottom up clean energy resolution to Africa” | Development Marketplace
June 17, 2011
“With an Avon-style women-driven business model, Solar Sister addresses both geographical access – making clean energy products available at the rural customer’s doorstep; and cultural access – closing the gender-technology gap by including women as key players.” read more…

“Green Jobs: More Than Just Green and More Than Just Jobs” | Huffington Post
June 10, 2011
“There’s a growing green career in East Africa that owes thanks to an unlikely inspiration — the Avon Lady. Like their American counterparts of a century ago, shut out of most jobs by oppressive cultural standards, women in rural Rwanda and Uganda are going door-to-door, earning income, sharing wisdom, and evangelizing for an exciting new product. They are part of Solar Sister, a direct-marketing initiative that pays tribute to Avon in its business model while promoting something decidedly more meaningful to the world at large — clean energy.” read more…

Green Marketing TV

“Green Entrepreneur Interview – Katherine Lucey of Solar Sister” | Green Marketing TV
May 10, 2011
“Bringing sustainable light and enduring hope to African women, social entrepreneur, Katherine Lucey, founder and CEO of Solar Sister, shares her wisdom on building a renewable energy movement with some of the poorest communities in the world.  What is Solar Sister all about? Solar Sister is an innovative social enterprise that empowers rural women in Africa with economic opportunity and clean energy. With an Avon style for-women, by-women business model, Solar Sister solves the problem of ‘last mile’ access to clean energy and brings solar technology right to the women’s doorstep. Using their natural social networks of family, friends and local community, the women provide critical access to clean energy solutions.” read more…

The Bay

“Here Comes the Sun ” | The Bay Magazine
April 18, 2011
“Katherine Lucey sees the light in solar energy. Though Bristol resident Katherine Lucey lives in the tiniest state in the union, her business ventures are international. Starting out as an investment banker in New York, Lucey gained expertise in the energy sector, working to raise funds to build large scale power plants.  After Lucey’s youngest child was born, she became involved in philanthropic work, and was again drwn to energy for a different reason.”
read more…

Santa Clara University

“20 Social Entrepreneurs Chosen for Global Social Benefit Incubator Enterprise-Building Program at Santa Clara University” | SCU Today
April 13, 2011
Twenty socially minded entrepreneurs from around the world have been chosen to receive full scholarships to participate in the ninth annual Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI™). These business ventures provide essential goods and services to the poor, and often act as catalysts for economic growth in their respective areas.” GSBI 2011 cohort includes Solar Sister. “  read more…

TEM Lab blog

“TEM Lab: Uganda – Solar Sister” | Thunderbird School of Management Knowledge Network
March 31 – April 23, 2011
“Where Did All That Time Go?” Today marks the end of the third week in April, the week which marks the end of our time here in Uganda. Figuring out how five weeks have gone by so fast is one big question on my mind as I write this blog. Sometimes it feels like I woke up from a deep sleep that has somehow morphed into 38 days in a foreign country. The reality though is that our time on the ground in Uganda has been anything but non-distinct. In fact, as I look back over our time here, I see that it has been full. It has been full of discovery of Uganda and our client’s operation. It has been full of brainstorming meetings about challenges, ideas and frameworks that will hopefully provide a solid basis for the future growth and success of Solar Sister. read more…

Triple Pundit

“Solar Sister Partners with ExxonMobil to Bring Light to Rural Uganda” | Triple Pundit
March 23, 2011
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with Katherine Lucey, founder of Solar Sister, and Eva Walusimbi, one of the first Solar Sister sales associates, at the Women in the World 2011: Stories and Solutions summit hosted by Newsweek and The Daily Beast in New York from March 10-12. After our interview, Eva participated in the Women. Tools. Technology: A Global Leapfrog panel to talk about her experience with Solar Sister. read more…

My Sister's Keeper

“My Sister’s Keeper” | Africa on the Blog
March 17, 2011
Some time last Year I came across Katherine Lucey on Twitter and was fascinated by her project in Uganda. I was pleasantly surprised to meet some of the women she works with at VILLAGES IN ACTION conference in Masindi and more so how good they are at what they do. They sold me two lamps there and then without much effort. read more…

Ashoka Changemakers

“In the Spotlight: Eva Walusimbi of Solar Sister” | ChangemakHers Blog on Ashoka’s Changemakers
March 17, 2011
“The women in my village have so many problems,” said Eva Walusimbi of Mityana, Uganda. “They are poor. Many are single mothers. Many are so young because they have children before they are even old enough to finish school. They struggle. I used to think that it was a Uganda problem, or an African problem. But now I know that it is a problem for women all over the world. We need to have opportunity and hope. This is why I am a Solar Sister, to help the women in my village, and to give them hope. read more…

“Smart Technology Can End ‘Time Poverty” For Women | BlogHer
March 17, 2011
On Friday, March 11, I saw an interesting panel at the Women in the World Summit on how clever technology accelerates women’s economic opportunities in third world and developing nations. It opened with some bleak facts: Women perform 66% of the world’s labor, but earn 10% of its income and own 1% of the production.  read more…

“Women|Tools|Technology – Out of the Shadows, Into the Light” | The Daily Beast
March 15, 2011
Empowering women in developing countries through alternative technologies was the subject of an afternoon panel discussion during last week’s “Women in the World” annual summit. Moderated by Echoing Green President Cheryl Dorsey, the conversation focused on the innovations enabling women to become more productive contributors to their communities. Participants included ExxonMobil’s Vice President of Geoscience Pam Darwin, Social Innovation Lead of IDEO and head of the newly launched Jocelyn Wyatt, and Solar Sister entrepreneur Eva Walusimbi.  read more…

“150 Women Who Shake the World”  | Newsweek
March 14, 2011
They are heads of state and heads of household. Angry protesters in the city square and sly iconoclasts in remote villages. With a fiery new energy, women are building schools. Starting businesses. Fighting corruption. Harnessing new technologies and breaking down old prejudices. Whenever a woman or girl gains control of her destiny, the local standard of living goes up and the values of human rights spread.  read more…

Video: Women|Tools|Technology: A Global Leapfrog | The Daily Beast’s Women in the World Summit
March 11, 2011
Watch “Women|Tools|Technology: A Global Leapfrog” at The Daily Beast- WOMEN in the WORLD Summit. With Solar Sister Eva Walusimbi, Jocelyn Wyatt, Head of, Pam Darwin, Vice President of Geoscience of ExxonMobil and Cheryl Dorsey, President of Echoing Green.  watch the video…

“Lighting the Way for Women in Africa”| The Daily Beast’s Women in the World Blog
March 11, 2011
In many regions of Africa, kerosene is expensive, electricity is unreliable, and women are living in poverty. But sunlight is free – and plentiful. Enter Solar Sisters, a program that turns African women into entrepreneurs who sell solar-powered lights that charge during the day and provide illumination at night. As a result,  children can do their homework later, stores can stay open, and families can have nighttime lights without the dangers of open flames, dirty fuel, or hot oils. Just as importantly, the income from the lights allows women to invest in their families and gain status in their communities.   read more…

“Women|Tools|Technology: Sisters are Doin’ It For Themselves” | The Daily Beast
March 11, 2011
In the one year since it was identified as an early-entry winner of the ExxonMobil-supported Women | Tools | Technology Challenge, Solar Sister has really taken off, says Katherine Lucey, founder and president of the network basing its technology distribution efforts in Africa. Lucey spoke to The Daily Beast about the momentum the program has had over the short span of time as well as the second “Women in the World” summit happening in New York this week.  read more…

Women in the World Summit | Agenda and Listed Participants in The Daily Beast
March 10-12, 2011
Solar Sister joined Hillary Clinton, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Melinda Gates, author Ayann Hirsi Ali and dozens of courageous activists on stage at the 2011 Women in the World Summit.   Solar Sister Eva Walusimbi was featured on a panel discussion of “Women|Tools|Technology: A Global Leapfrog” on day two of the summit.  Check out the Agenda and full list of Participants…

“Women|Tools|Technology: Uganda’s Grassroots Strategy” | The Daily Beast
March 8, 2011
An innovative partnership between ExxonMobil and the Thunderbird Emerging Markets Laboratory (TEM Lab) is about to provide on-the-ground business consulting support to help increase Ugandan women’s access to alternative energy technologies. This Daily Beast installment highlights the important work that lies ahead for the initiative’s key players.  read more…

Google’s 2011 Celebration of International Women’s Day Campaign
March 8, 2011
Solar Sister is featured as one of 40 women’s organizations to support on Google’s 2011 Celebration of International Women’s Day Campaign.  visit the campaign page

“Uganda: La Sorellanza Delle Lampade Viaggianti” | La Stampa the Italian news daily.  Fantastico!
December 15, 2010
“Una volta immesse sul mercato delle lampade solari piccole ed economiche, con una tecnologia intuitiva, Katherine ha capito che quella era la soluzione giusta per migliorare la diffusione dell’energia solare in un mercato profondamente rurale. Così è nata l’organizzazione Solar Sister!”  read more…

“Sisterhood of the Traveling Lamps” | What Gives 365? A blog recording one woman’s inspiring journey “putting her money where her mouth is”.
December 9, 2010
“Using a micro-consignment model, a Solar Sister sells solar lanterns to other village women, earning a cash income directly from her home in the time she determines, and reinvesting the profits in her family and community.  Each Solar Sister is provided with lamps, a sales kit complete with sales, marketing and product training materials, and supported by her regional team leader. It’s the Avon direct sales model, transplanted to Africa, with solar lights replacing sheer peach lip gloss.”  read more…

“Shining a (Solar) Light on Patient Capital” |  NextBillion
November 22, 2010
“We hear about plucky solar startups and try to write about them with some frequency on NextBillion, from Tough Stuff to Solar Sister. Each is aiming to replace the dirty and often dangerous kerosene lamps that are still the illumination mainstay. These entrepreneurs certainly understand that the need and the market potential are immense. But it will remain only potential without investment and investors who are not only willing to take the risk, but are willing to take more time for the rewards than the market typically demands. This is the essence of patient capital, of course.”  read more…

“Bristol’s Solar Sister Shines in Africa”  |
November 11, 2010
“Thinking  globally, the Bristol resident founded Solar Sister, a pilot enterprise  designed to improve women’s lives by providing light and economic  opportunity through a woman-to-woman distribution system in Uganda,  Africa.”  read more…

Let There Be Light” |
November 10, 2010
“Inspired by the African concept of Ubuntu — shared humanity — Bristol resident Katherine Lucey, 51, founded the nonprofit organization Solar Sister, which creates Avon-style entrepreneurial opportunities for women in rural villages selling solar-powered lamps. Beyond providing the means for steady cash income, the eco-friendly lamps provide families much needed light — what Lucey, a former investment banker and Atlanta native, views as the missing key to development..” read more…

“Solar Sister: RI Resident Brings Clean Energy to African Women” |
October 19, 2010
“Katherine Lucey, of Bristol, is taking on the global need for sustainable energy with a new project that brings solar energy to poor women in rural Africa.  Solar Sister, a social enterprise developed by Lucey, commissions women to sell solar-powered lanterns to local businesses. The results are increased job opportunities for rural African women and improved access to clean, inexpensive light sources.”  read more…

“Bristol woman wins prize for bringing solar lighting to rural African women” |  The Providence Journal
October 16, 2010
The Providence Journal reports that Solar Sister founder, Katherine Lucey is one of two winners in the third round of the Africa Rural Connect 2010 ideas competition. read more…

“Changemakers Rock Clinton Global Initiative” |  Ashoka Changemakers Video
September 28, 2010
Ashoka Changemakers, including Solar Sister Founder Katherine Lucey, made a splash at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative, as shown in this video.  The video captures CGI from the viewpoint of the Changemakers themselves as they recorded events on flipcams provided by Ashoka Changemakers. watch the video…

$1 Million Commitment Announced at Clinton Global Initiative”  | ICRW report on the ExxonMobil commitment to help innovators, including Solar Sister, in scaling up technologies that benefit women economically
September 21, 2010
As part of the 2009 commitment, ICRW’s research report,“Bridging the Technology Divide,” provided insights into how technology can help advance women economically.  ICRW will continue to provide monitoring and evaluation support for the commitment activities including Solar Sister. read more…

“TEM Lab announces ExxonMobil partnership at Clinton Global Initiative” | Thunderbird School of Global Management announces unique partnership to work with select innovative social enterprises, including Solar Sister
September 21, 2010
Thunderbird Emerging Market (TEM Lab), in partnership with ExxonMobil, Ashoka’s Changemakers and the International Council for Research on Women (ICRW) will provide MBA consulting teams will to work with three innovators identified by the Women | Tools | Technology program sponsored by Ashoka and Exxon Mobil. Solar Sister is one of the selected innovators. read more…

“ExxonMobil Expands Support For Technologies That Help Women In Developing Countries”  | ExxonMobil  Solar Sister is included as one of a select group innovators to receive support from ExxonMobil’s Women’s Economic Opportunity Initiative.
September 21, 2010
“Exxon Mobil Corporation today announced a $1 million commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to invest in the expansion of high impact, sustainable technologies that advance women economically in the developing world.” Grants will be provided to select innovators, including Solar Sister, who advance technologies to increase access to energy through innovative sources to address the energy gap. read more…

Clinton Global Initiative 2010 NGO Executive Workshop
September 20, 2010
Solar Sister is one of a select group of NGO’s invited to participate in the Clinton Global initiative 2010 NGO Executive Workshop that is scheduled to take place prior to the start of Clinton Global Initiative’s Annual Meeting to be held in New York on September 20-23.  In 2005, President Clinton established CGI to turn ideas into action and to help our world move beyond the current state of globalization to a more integrated global community of shared benefits, responsibilities, and values.  read more…

“Five Innovators Headed to CGI: Let Their Be Light!” | Fast Company
September 14, 2010
In a private interview with Katherine Lucey, Founder and CEO, Solar Sister, she explained that the lack of affordable energy “hinders productivity and educational opportunities, essentially keeping people in poverty. read more…

“Solar Technology Meets Avon:  The Story of Solar Sister” | Columbia Business School Social Enterprise Conference blog
July 21, 2010
“Solar Sister is one of many initiatives, such as Lighting Africa, that seek to bring electricity to the developing world.  However, unlike many other organizations, Solar Sister uses an “Avon-based” direct sales model, where individual entrepreneurs sell solar powered lanterns to members of their community and then share in the profits.” read more…

“Solar Energy for the BOP:  Katherine Lucey of Solar Sister” |  NextBillion
July 5, 2010
“As part of our segment on clean energy for the BoP, I had the unique opportunity to chat with Katherine Lucey, the founder of Solar Sister, a Uganda-based, up-and-coming social enterprise that is currently in its pilot phase.  Solar Sister focuses on employing and empowering local women to act as Avon-type, commissioned saleswomen for solar lanterns in their own villages.” read more…

Providence Business News

“First Change Accelerator Class Graduates” | Providence Business News
July 1, 2010
“The first graduating class of Social Venture Partners Rhode Island Change Accelerator incubator program gathered Wednesday at the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Providence to celebrate the completion of their eight-week program.”  Graduates of this innovative social venture incubator program include Solar Sister. read more…


“Social Entrepreneurs Launch Businesses Focused on Societal Change” |  SVPRI Change Accelerator graduates receive support to launch and sustain new ventures; compete for seed capital funding.
June 30, 2010
“Social Venture Partners Rhode Island (SVPRI), a non-profit organization of social investors and change-makers, announces eight new social enterprises (mission-based businesses) that will graduate from Rhode Island’s first-ever Change Accelerator on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RI-CIE).  The eight-week mentor-based program – one of only a few in existence globally — includes workshops on essential start-up topics, mentor matching, business plan refinement, and early-stage seed capital. read more…

“Bright Potential for Women’s Empowerment” | Council on Foreign Relations Op/Ed by Isobel Coleman
June 18, 2010
“Several years ago, I became intrigued by the transformative potential of small-scale solar devices to improve life for the nearly 2 billion people who live without regular energy access. Take solar cookers: today, hundreds of millions of people, mostly women, prepare meals over open flames.”  read more…

“Bright Potential for Women’s Empowerment” | The Huffington Post
June 18, 2010
“The challenge now becomes how to distribute these technologies in rural areas that are hard to reach and most in need. At the CFR conference this spring, we heard from Katherine Lucey, founder of a new organization called Solar Sister that focuses on the “last mile” of delivery of solar lights.”  read more…

CSR Digest

“Social Venture Incubator Launched in Rhode Island” | The CSR Digest
June 4, 2010
“Social Venture Partners Rhode Island (SVPRI), a non-profit organization of social investors and change-makers, announces the first class of social entrepreneurs selected to participate in start-up acceleration in the state’s first Social Venture Incubator, the Change Accelerator.”  The inaugural class of social entrepreneurs includes Solar Sister Founder Katherine Lucey.  read more…


“Solar Sister: The Avon Lady of African Renewables” |
June 4, 2010
“Solar Sister, a new solar entrepreneur program, has taken Avon’s social sales model and is using it to spread solar powered lamps across Uganda. Avon cosmetics began as a failed 19th century book-selling venture. Its “Avon Calling” approach where saleswomen sold directly to other women, helped it grow into one of the 500 largest companies in the United States with annual global revenues of over US$10 billion.” read more…

Langebaan Sunset

Langebaan Sunset Supports Solar Sister!
May 20, 2010
Newlyweds Nick and Vicki set off on a 16 month “challenging honeymoon”, traveling from UK to South Africa via Europe and Western Africa. Driving a 4×4 Land Rover Defender 110 through 30+ countries and undertaking a variety of photographic studies along the way.  Nick and Vicki are using their trip to reach remote parts of Africa and to raise awareness of the work of Solar Sister.  follow the adventures of Nick & Vic on the blog…


“Let There Be Light:  Solar Sister in the Diocese of Ezo” |  RISEN
May 13, 2010
“In April, the Diocese of Rhode Island is bringing the Solar Sister program to Ezo. Women will be chosen by the Ezo Mother’s Union on the basis of their entrepreneurship potential and economic need to become “Solar Sisters”. The Ezo program will be the first Solar Sister program in war-torn Sudan, where light is an important element of safety as well as opportunity.” read the story on the blog… read the magazine…

Providence Business News

“First Change Accelerator Class Graduates” | Providence Business News
May 5, 2010
“Social Venture Partners Rhode Island, a nonprofit that provides guidance to other organizations, has announced the first class of eight social entrepreneurs selected for its new Change Accelerator incubator program.”  The inaugural class of social entrepreneurs includes Solar Sister Founder Katherine Lucey. read more…

Ashoka Changemakers

“Lighting Up Women’s Lives – Solar Sister” | Ashoka Changemakers
April 28, 2010
Ashoka Changemakers is a community of action where changemakers are collaborate to solve the world’s most pressing social problems, one project, one idea at a time.  Solar Sister Founder and Executive Director, Katherine Lucey is profiled as an Ashoka Changemaker for her innovative work empowering women with solar technology.  read more…

Council on Foreign Relations

Council on Foreign Relations | Katherine Lucey, Founder and Executive Director of Solar Sister is a featured speaker at the Council on Foreign Relations Workshop on Leveraging New Technology for Women’s Economic Empowerment.
April 21, 2010
The Council on Foreign Relations Workshop on Leveraging New Technology for Women’s Economic Empowerment is part of the ExxonMobil Women and Development Series. Katherine will be part of a panel discussing “Understanding and Expanding Distribution Networks”.  read more…
Read more…


Solar Sister receives fellowship for Social Innovation Rhode Island (SERI) CHANGE Accelerator.
April 15, 2010
The CHANGE Accelerator provides needed business support to social entrepreneurs who are developing innovative solutions to unmet social needs.  Solar Sister will participate as one of six social innovators in the inaugural class.  SERI is a community-building program of Social Venture Partners – RI.
Read more…


Solar Sister is an Early Entry Winner in “Women|Tools|Technology Challenge” sponsored  ExxonMobil on Ashoka’s Changemakers
March 25, 2010
Ashoka’s Changemakers, ExxonMobil, and The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) highlight Solar Sister as an innovation which enables women to access and use the power of tools and technology to expand their opportunities for economic advancement.  read more…

Huffington Post

Marcia G. Yerman:  A Report from “Women in the World Summit:  Stories and Solutions” – Huffington Post
March 24, 2010
“Gloria Steinem has repeatedly stressed the importance of women sharing their personal stories as a way to add their voices to the human record. This was the strength of The Daily Beast’s three-day event. For the 300 women leaders gathered to be informed and motivated to action by the roster of speakers, there was no shortage of inspiration.”  read more…

The Daily Beast

The Daily Beast’s “Women in the World Summit: Stories and Solutions”
March 14, 2010
Solar Sister Founder and Executive Director, Katherine Lucey, was interviewed by Good Morning America Anchor, Juju Chang at the Women in the World Summit. The interview highlighted Solar Sister as the type of innovative program that Ashoka Changemakers and ExxonMobile are seeking in their Women|Tools|Technology challenge.  read more…
Solar Sister’s Founder and Executive Director, Katherine Lucey is chosen as a Semi-Finalist for Echoing Green Social Entrepreneur fellowship.
January 14, 2010
To accelerate social change, Echoing Green invests in and supports outstanding emerging social entrepreneurs to launch new organizations that deliver bold, high-impact solutions. Through a two-year fellowship program, Echoing Green helps visionaries develop new solutions to society’s most difficult problems.  read more…



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