To date, Solar Sister has helped more than 6,000 women become entrepreneurs. The organization hopes to train 10,000 women by 2023 and is actively exploring new markets in Africa. The key to their expansion plans is using data to help their entrepreneurs make better buying and selling decisions.
With the support of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and The Rockefeller Foundation, data.org in January 2021, named Solar Sister as one of eight awardees of a $10 million grant to use data to propel social impact projects. (Solar Sister received $443,080.)
Through this grant, Solar Sister is partnering with data science experts at Fraym to put data in the hands of Solar Sister entrepreneurs and Solar Sister field staff, which will enable them to maximize business outcomes and bring light, hope and opportunity to more people throughout sub-Saharan Africa. For this project, Fraym will weave together hyper-local survey data, satellite imagery and points of interest data to build hyperlocal hotspot maps, which will indicate where ideal cash and credit consumers live. They will also generate data that Solar Sister field staff will use to more effectively recruit entrepreneurs.