Lighting kits for Manila’s poor families

Lighting kits for Manila’s poor families

19 June 2017

Entrepreneurs du Monde and TOTAL are starting an innovative service hiring and delivering lighting kits.

A common willing to help the poorest

For the past ten years, Entrepreneurs du Monde has been supporting thousands of families in the poorest, most cramped suburbs of Metro Manila which have neither water nor electricity supplies. EdM has tried to make it easier for them to obtain lamps to run their small business, study, travel safely and recharge their mobile phones.

However, TOTAL was seeking an operational partner to co-develop a system for hiring out lighting kits to the poorest.

Having already seen (in Burkina Faso, Togo and Cambodia) and even collaborated (in Haiti) in setting up energy access programmes with Entrepreneurs du Monde, TOTAL considered this NGO as a serious partner, already closely involved with the relevant families, capable of managing funds, the network or entrepreneurs and their financial micro-transactions.

They decided to join forces!

Together, in Manila, in the slum town of Isla Puting Bato, they have just created an innovative social micro-franchise to hire out lighting kits to the poorest families. These kits include a battery, capable in due course of illuminating up to three lamps and a fan or a radio. During the pilot phase, the beneficiaries receive a ceiling lamp and the battery which can also charge their telephone. Flat batteries are recharged at Entrepreneurs du Monde’s premises then returned fully-charged to the family. This delivery and maintenance service will be provided by franchised micro-entrepreneurs which are recruited, trained, helped to start trading and coached by Entrepreneurs du Monde.

Entrepreneurs du Monde has already recruited an initial entrepreneur: Rod (see below). He has been trained in the use and maintenance of the kits, sales techniques, after-sales service, management and reporting. These foundations will help him to develop a profitable, robust and sustainable business.

The aim of this innovative partnership is to supply 800 families by the end of 2016 through 4 micro-franchised entrepreneurs.


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Rod is the first micro-franchised entrepreneur

Every morning Rod sets out to find new clients and to supply existing clients. With the new clients, he sets up rental contracts and installs the lamps; with established clients he replaces flat batteries with fully charged ones. For this service, clients pay 15 pesos (€0.30) per day. Part of this contributes to an individual savings account which gradually enables additional equipment to be financed: a solar powered lamp, a heater, a mosquito repelling machine, etc.

“After a fortnight I already had 60 clients! I am confident and happy to bring light to my neighbours! This rental system suits their very limited means: they are not required to make a large initial outlay to buy the kit.”

Having done her sums, Virginia has decided to hire a kit

Virginia and her husband have 7 children. They have lived in the shanty town of Isla Puting Bato for 30 years. Virginia’s husband is a fisherman and she sells his fish. The business is very unreliable and she makes at most 200 pesos (€4) per day. Having done her sums, Virginia has decided to hire a kit.

“It’s a great opportunity for us: previously we used a kerosene lamp. Not only was it expensive and dangerous, but it gave a weak light and blew out in the wind. With this kit we can finally see properly! My children use it for their homework and we leave the light on at night to deter thieves.”