Business Development Support

Providing key support

Lighting Africa works to increase people’s access to modern energy services by catalyzing the markets. As such, business development support to companies active in this sector is a key component of our work.

Associate distributor training program, Ethiopia 2015
Associate distributor training program, Ethiopia 2015

In many cases the off-grid lighting and energy sector has attracted new, small enterprises, many of which have greatly benefitted from our guidance. We provide business support services to a range of private sector companies, including to product manufacturers, importers, and distributors. In concrete terms this means that we help companies fine tune their business models, sales and marketing strategies, and product distribution networks. We provide advice and training on best business practices, corporate governance and risk management, as well as providing B2B linkages between industry players.

I have got a lot of knowledge from this workshop. I found the training very practical and relevant to my business. Training participant

Complementary approaches

Lighting Africa is a joint World Bank Group (WBG) program, bringing together the expertise of two agencies within the WBG – the IFC, which focuses on the private sector, and leads market transformation programs and the World Bank, which works with national governments to help them achieve their energy provision goals. These two approaches complement each other in achieving our ultimate goal of enabling access to modern energy products for an additional 250 million people by 2030 currently living off the grid.

While both agencies provide business development support as part of our program activities, the IFC-led activities have expanded the services they offer to a number of private sector companies known as ‘Associates.’ World Bank-led activities do not have this distinction and work equally with all products meeting our Quality Standards.


Any company that has one or more products meeting our Quality Standards can become a Lighting Global Associate at no cost, after passing a due diligence screening. These companies can then opt to gain access to country-level fee-based business support offerings from the IFC that include privileged early access to market intelligence reports, business to business linkages, facilitation of access to finance, participation in consumer education campaigns, and general business development support.

To learn more about our Associate program and how to become one, please contact:

Our Country-Level Associates:



d.light is a global energy company delivering affordable solar-powered solutions to people without access to reliable energy. d.light provides distributed solar energy solutions for households and small businesses, transforming the way people use and pay for energy. Through 10 field offices and four hubs – Africa, China, South Asia and the US, d.light is dedicated to providing the most reliable, affordable and accessible solar lighting and power systems for the developing world with the goal of reaching 100 million people by 2020.

d.light is an associate in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria.

Greenlight Planet

Greenlight Planet was founded by T. Patrick Walsh, Anish Thakkar and Mayank Sekhsaria with a vision to become a global leader in delivering clean, safe, affordable energy to the world’s 2 billion under-served energy consumers. With 11 offices in 5 countries, Greenlight Planet has over 600 full-time employees, engages more than 6000 sales agents, and has experienced 100% growth for each of the past three years. The company serves over 15 million users across 30 countries predominantly in Asia and Africa, with growing presence across Latin America. The company’s goal is to reach 100 million off-grid households by 2020.

Greenlight Planet is an associate in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria.


Little Sun is a social business addressing the need for light in a sustainable way that benefits off-grid communities, creates local jobs, and generates local profits. Little Sun believes in sustainable solar light for all. Little Sun manufactures the Little Sun, a high quality, affordable, portable solar lamp developed for people without access to grid electricity. The lamp is sold worldwide, sales in on-grid areas making it possible to avail the lamps in off-grid areas at reduced, locally affordable prices.

Little Sun is an associate in Ethiopia.


Mibawa Suppliers Limited specializes in the provision of Off Grid Lighting kits in the rural areas in East African and in future the entire Sub-Saharan Africa. The company has deployed approximately 30000 units of high quality Solar Home Lighting Systems there-by reducing overreliance on kerosene. This has greatly reduced harmful emissions to the environment.
Our products are competitively priced, approximately each client spending Kes 20 per day, hence within one year the client actually pays-off the lighting kit. On the contrary, most households spend Kes 40 on kerosene and phone charging which is very expensive. By embracing Mibawa Solarpack 3 kits, clients are able to save more to improve their lives.

Mibawa is an associate in Kenya.


NIWA Solar is a German-Cantonese privately owned company based in Hong Kong with a presence in 30 countries. Our products are the result of 20 years’ experience in engineering, product design and mass production. They use state-of-art technology such as the energy efficient LEDs, and long-life environmentally friendly batteries, and are optimized for rural consumers to empower them out of energy poverty. NIWA not only offers the brightest solar lanterns (300 Lumens), but also launched the world’s first 100% Modular Solar Systems.

Niwa is an associate in Ethiopia.


Omnivoltaic Power Co., Ltd. is a specialist product provider for off-grid power products used by customers who have no access to grid electricity, or those who have unreliable electricity supply. Omnivoltaic has a simple mission: to develop products that give people anywhere access to electric power to meet their basic energy needs, or to fulfil lifestyle aspirations and choices. Omnivoltaic is an international company incorporated in Hong Kong, and has operating offices in Hong Kong, China, Kenya and Papua New Guinea.

Omnivoltaic is an associate in Ethiopia and Nigeria.