Building Successful Micro-enterprises
At ToughStuff, we firmly believe in creating employment through enterprise.
ToughStuff generates employment by hiring local people and making use of the in-country expertise of local partners and distributors.
Business in a Box
In addition to directly employing people, ToughStuff runs a micro-enterprise programme Business in a Box (BIAB) as a way to create jobs and stimulate entrepreneurship in local communities. We pick local Solar Village Entrepreneurs (SVEs), equip them with a proven business model, and support their efforts to build profitable micro-businesses. As well as allowing SVEs to make money, the scheme also increases access to ToughStuff products in off-grid communities.
Typically Solar Village Entrepreneurs (SVEs) raise funds to purchase ToughStuff kits at discounted prices. Increasingly, NGOs and microfinance institutions play a vital role in raising much needed working capital. ToughStuff establishes SVEs by providing them with a proven business model, product and sales training, as well as access to networks and marketing support.
In a year, one entrepreneur will:
- Generate $500-1000 extra income for his/her family
- Improve the lives of 100 households (or 600 people)
- Save customers a total of $9800
- Replace the burning of 720 litres of kerosene
- Prevent the emission of 2 tonnes of CO2
- Stop the unsafe disposal of 9,600 batteries
Tahiry: A Solar Village Entrepreneur
A recent university graduate, Tahiry was unable to find employment. In 2009, he raised money from his family to become one of ToughStuff’s first SVEs. Having started with just 30 lamps and panels, which he rented out to people in his village, Tahiry quickly realised that demand for ToughStuff’s affordable solar products was huge. After just one week he returned to buy more!
Tahiry now has two employees and 115 solar kits – lighting over 10% of his village. He recently noted “ToughStuff has become so ingrained in the village that I can’t imagine life without it!
Click here to support a Solar Village Entrepreneur.