The company makes solar energy accessible and affordable to millions of off-grid people in Africa by taking a large scale and systematic approach. Operations started in Uganda in May 2011, building on management’s 7-year experience with the award winning Dutch Rural Energy Foundation training hundreds of rural entrepreneurs across Africa to develop solar energy enterprises and recognizing the potential in Uganda to develop a scalable commercial business. SolarNow has since then sold over 14,000 systems to approximately 4,500 entrepreneurs and 9,500 households. The Ugandan distribution network is strong and growing, with increasing levels of repeat orders from existing customers.
Willem Nolens (CEO) has over 19 years experience in establishing and managing social enterprises in Africa, in particular in the field of microfinance and renewables. In 2001, Willem co-founded ProCredit Bank Ghana and then later became the MD. He also co-founded Catalyst Microfinance Investors (CMI), a USD 100m private equity fund investing in microfinance Institutions in Africa and Asia and from that co-founded ASA International, a network of Greenfield MFIs. In 2010, Willem transformed the award-winning Rural Energy Foundation into SolarNow and has served as CEO since its inception.
|Head office||Millingen aan de Rijn|
|Founded||1 May 2011|
|Active on Lendahand since||8 February 2017|
Financial information per 2018-05-08
|Revenue (per year)||€4,000,000|
|Equity / total assets||14.93%|
Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October 1962 as a Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. One year later, Uganda became a republic but maintained its membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. The country has been experiencing consistent economic growth. In 2015-16, Uganda recorded gross domestic product growth of 4.6 percent in real terms. However, despite making enormous progress in reducing the countrywide poverty incidence from 56 percent of the population in 1992 to 24.5 percent in 2009, poverty remains deep-rooted in the country's rural areas, which are home to 84 percent of Ugandans.