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Crowd power guarantees crowdfunded loan to one of Kenya’s leading solar distributors


Crowd Power has launched its fourth campaign with platform partner, Lendahand, and will provide 25% first-loss protection on the EUR 100,000 ($113,000) loan to Sollatek Kenya. The proceeds of the loan will be used to purchase 2,000 solar lanterns and 200 solar homes systems for off-grid households and small businesses. Sollatek was established in Kenya in 1985 and was one of the first companies to enter the, then nascent, solar market.

Energy 4 Impact partnered with Lendahand under the Crowd Power programme in 2016. We have since partnered to support three loans to businesses in Tanzania, Uganda, and the Philippines. Lendahand is one of the largest debt crowdfunding platforms focused on lending to SMEs in emerging markets, and is based in the Netherlands. The platform ran their first energy-access related campaign in mid-2016 and raised $565,000 across 15 campaigns last year.

We are excited to partner with Lendahand for this campaign and to be providing first-loss protection in particular. Guarantees on crowdfunded loans are still early-stage and highly experimental so we still have a lot to learn about getting the protection level right, as well as, how to implement guarantees effectively, at scale. This is a great opportunity for further learning and an important, and innovative, intervention to showcase to the donor community.

- Crowd Power Programme Manager Davinia Cogan said at the launch of the campaign. 

Crowd Power was established in April 2015 to fund and research energy-access related crowdfunding in Africa and Asia. Since its launch, the programme has co-funded more than 30 campaigns and has provided over $450,000 in funding to campaigns, which in total raised over $2.5 million. Crowd Power provides match funding, lump-sum payments, gift-vouchers, and first-loss guarantees to eligible campaigns. First-loss guarantees provide protection to lenders on debt crowdfunding platforms so in the case of default, part of their investment is protected. Our next research paper on crowdfunding and the financing gap experienced by many off-grid energy businesses, Can the Crowd Close the Financing Gap?, will be released in July 2017.

Sollatek Kenya’s crowdfunding campaign is now live on Lendahand and can be viewed here.

Crowd Power is funded by UK Aid. For further information on the programme please see: