Women Entrepreneur (Solar Sahelis)
Frontier Market named their women entrepreneur group Solar Sahelis. They are in the age group of 18-26 years. Most of them were married at the age of 14, are uneducated and have no channels for personal income generation. They are part of the Self-Help Group (SHG) program. They joined the Solar Saheli program a year ago, acquired a new skill set of communication, marketing, and sales, leading to an income generating opportunity. One Solar Saheli serves around 100-150 households in her village and leverages SHG for consumer financing.
The story of Meena Devi (Silibavdi, Alwar)
She is optimistic and confident and runs her own business via a Kirana shop. She got married at a young age, studied only till 6th standard and is a mother of four kids. Being a woman entrepreneur, who successfully runs a shop, she is a Solar Saheli as well as a Krashi Sakhi. She knows the nitty gritties of talking to a customer and understands the importance of clean energy and efficient solutions in our lives, which aides in promoting and selling products.
She remembers an incident when some guests were at her home and suddenly the lights went out in the entire village. She quickly switched on her solar-powered home lighting system and lit up her house. When asked whether the power cut was short, she proudly told the guests that she is a Solar Saheli and the light is from her own solar powered system.
Today she says she is proud to say that due to her efforts, more people are now using clean energy solutions.
Quote from Kamlesh (Solar Saheli)
“My brothers-in-law are giving me respect which I didn’t used to get from them earlier. I met with the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and I told this to my mother-in-law and they are very happy. At first, my mother-in-law said I didn’t know how to do anything right— how to eat, how to act, how to dress. But now my mother-in-law says her daughter-in-law has become independent and is a class apart from all the other women in the village”