Takesure Mafuta is a SunnyMoney agent in Malawi who has first-hand experience on the benefits of using and selling SunnyMoney solar lights. In 2013, Takesure was trained by SunnyMoney as a Micro Solar Entrepreneur, in Nsanje District, under the Developing Innovative Solutions with Communities in order to Overcome Vulnerability and Enhance Resilience (DISCOVER) Project.
Following the training, Takesure purchased 20 units of S2 solar lights from SunnyMoney and returned with them to his village in Chang’oma, Nsanje District. So high was the demand for solar lights in Chang’oma that he quickly sold out his stock and returned to SunnyMoney for more.
Takesure now buys solar lights in batches of 100 units and above and above and says “I have managed to sell over 600 solar lights of different types to people in my village and other surrounding areas. The majority (80%) of the lights I sell are still S2's”.
The solar entrepreneur has so far generated a profit of 300,000 Malawi Kwacha (MK) saying, “I have deposited 100,000 Malawi Kwacha in my bank account, and I used MK 46,000 to purchase 16 bags of maize, each weighing 50 kilograms, which I will at a higher price”. Takesure also used part of the profit to buy iron sheets which he will use for constructing a solar shop in his village with the remaining profits he bought more solar lights from SunnyMoney. However, considering the economic hurdles Malawi is currently facing, one may wonder how Mr. Mafuta manages to make such huge sales. “Among other strategies, I travel to various villages and market centres to sell the solar lights, as well as sensitizing people on the advantages of having these lights”, he says.
Takesure has also commissioned friends who sell other items to sell lights for him. “People from my village and surrounding villages have become aware of my business to the extent that they come to my home to purchase the lights,” he says, adding “my capital is not enough to buy enough stock to meet current demand. I currently have 400,000 Malawi Kwacha which I am willing to invest in the business but I am still looking for another MK 200,000”, he says.
An ambitious and hardworking man, Takesure already has solutions in mind to the challenges he faces. For instance, he recently learned that he was eligible to get loans at competitive rates from micro financing institutions working with DISCOVER supported entrepreneurs. “After accessing the loans, I will buy enough stock especially during the farm harvesting season which is from March to June so as to make more profits,” says Takesure.
The profits he makes will enable him to construct a solar shop next year. “The shop will be located in my village, close to a clinic which is growing fast. I have already started buying iron sheets for the shop,” he explains. The entrepreneur who is also a new chief of his village, wants to use that opportunity to mobilize his community with help of other chiefs through conducting community awareness meetings and has asked that SunnyMoney be involved in the meetings.