Three women talk about their new lives as Solar Sister Entrepreneurs.

Anthonia Agwunobi, a mother of 5, is a primary school teacher in Anambra State in southeastern Nigeria. Before becoming a Solar Sister Entrepreneur, Anthonia relied exclusively on her meager earnings as a teacher to support her family.

Built on the trust and popularity as a well-respected teacher, Anthonia developed her business quickly in the early days. After the first year, Anthonia joined the Business Booster Program offered to entrepreneurs interested in growing their business to the next level. The program includes advanced training and a product loan to offer more diverse products to their customers. Now Anthonia can offer her customers a credit system to pay for their products within 30 days which has helped her customers and sales.

Anthonia has built a community with other women energy entrepreneurs through sisterhood meetings. These discussions significantly impact her thinking, business development and maintenance skills, sales tactics, and savings plan.

Anthonia has sold over 11,000 clean energy products in her three years as an entrepreneur. As a result, she is in a better financial position to care for her children. She has also saved up enough money to acquire a piece of property.

When I pass by now, someone will see me and shout, ‘Solar, solar, solar!’ They are buying my products and enjoying them. It has made me social, popular, known. I am so glad about this solar business.

Josephine Damak. After just eight months as a Solar Sister Entrepreneur, Josephine Damak has sold over 200 lamps and 10 clean cookstoves. Each month she watches her business grow. Proud of her progress, Josephine credits this to the sisterhood meetings where the women share business information helping to improve all of their businesses. She says learning how to market the solar products and expand her customer reach has been helpful.

Josephine lives in Plateau State, located in central Nigeria, a mountainous area with stunning rock formations. It derives its name from the Jos Plateau, with natural rocks, hills, and waterfalls.


Josephine and her husband run a family farm together and raise four children. Josephine also works as a cleaner in a hospital. She is proud of her contribution to the family.

The profit I have made from the sales has helped me. I have been able to expand my farmland. I raise pigs and turkeys and assist in paying my children’s school fees. I have also been able to extend my poultry farm.

Oluseyi Ojetunde. Oluseyi Ojetunde is a retired school teacher in southwestern Nigeria, just north of Lagos. Two years ago, Oluseyi met Solar Sister Business Development Associate Segun Adekoya, who encouraged Oluseyi to enroll in the training. After receiving a loan from her local cooperative to invest in starting her business, Oluseyi enthusiastically jumped in. Her five children now grown up and out of the house, she had the time to learn how to go from a teacher to a marketer and work with customers.

At first, she was frustrated that some of her customers did not take care of the products and did not charge them correctly. Oluseyi was used to keeping a tight classroom but realized that gentle education would work better with her customers.

“In our sisterhood meeting, we are taught to attend to the customers rather than get angry.” She learned to educate her customers. “Also we should first let our customers know the advantages of our solar products, before telling them the price. When we do that, people are attracted to the product’s value, which has helped with sales. This as particularly helped me.”

Oluseyi joined the Business Booster program taking advantage of the monthly loans to grow her business. She was able to offer her clients the option of paying in installments and her sales increased.

My business has grown quite big because I get a lot of calls from people asking for the solar products. This has helped the business to move. Now I always have money!



Blog post originally published on our partner Solar Sister’s website:

This photo essay was made possible by a grant from Energia’s Women’s Empowerment Project. Photography by Ultrashot, Nigeria.

Click HERE to watch a video about these three entrepreneurs and their work. The film is by Ultrashot, Nigeria.