Powerful connections can happen in the most unlikely places. What started as a conversation between two strangers on a bus has grown into a major investment that will transform the lives of 100 women entrepreneurs as they launch solar businesses to bring clean energy to communities across Tanzania.
Neha Misra, Co-Founder and Chief Collaboration Officer for Shine partner Solar Sister, and Rev. Jenny Phillips, Creation Care Program Manager for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), met while riding a bus from the Sustainable Energy for All Conference to a Shine gathering in Lisbon, Portugal in May 2018. During the ride to our Shine partner meeting, Neha and Jenny discussed their mutual interest in increasing access to renewable energy solutions, particularly for last-mile communities.
As a result of that chance conversation, Solar Sister applied for, and was awarded a $100,000 grant, one of the first from UMCOR’s new Renewable Energy Access program. Leaders from both organizations are eager for the project to begin in 2019.
Shine congratulates UMCOR for their first set of Renewable Energy Access grants and applauds Solar Sister for their ongoing work to end energy poverty. This collaboration is a powerful demonstration of how the Shine Campaign is bringing faith, philanthropy, finance and development leaders together to achieve access to clean, safe and affordable energy for all.