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How This Entrepreneur Is Turning a Profit in Developing Countries

The following excerpt is from Jason Haber's new book The Business of Good. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound

In The Business of Good, serial and social entrepreneur Jason Haber intertwines case studies and anecdotes that show how social entrepreneurship is creating jobs, growing the economy, and ultimately changing the world. In this edited excerpt, Haber tells the story of one entrepreneur who figured out how to help the developing world while creating a profitable business for himself and his partner.


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How d.light creates a delightful customer experience

February 16, 2017 | In 2006, Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun set out to eradicate kerosene as a source of light in the developing world. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, Sam witnessed the damage kerosene could do when an overturned lantern created a fire that nearly killed his neighbor’s son. They also saw what a scourge the dirty fuel was for families without access to energy, eating up a high percentage of their spending.

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d.light Delivers Energy Access and Employment for Women in Kenya

d.light, a leading global distributed off-grid solar company, aims to deliver affordable solar home and power solutions for two billion people without access to reliable energy. In 2016 d.light completed a successful two-year EEP project in Central and Eastern Kenya, creating sustainable economic opportunities and empowering women and their households with access to solar-powered energy solutions. In targeted rural areas customers had previously been using mainly kerosene lamps for lighting.

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Five companies that have truly changed lives for millions of poor people

January 31, 2017 | 2.3 billion people in the world still do not have access to electricity in a continuous and safe way; Or have no network connection or it constantly fails.The most common alternative as a source of illumination is kerosene, a very expensive product, harmful to health and very dangerous.

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Despite Headwinds, Big Capital Continues To Flow Into Solar Projects, Processes And Startups

January 30, 2017 | Remove incentives for renewable energy. Leave climate change out of the argument entirely. Eviscerate the Department of Energy’s renewable programs. Replace science-based policy with oil-buddy cronyism and a disrespect for intelligence. Hell, make it illegal to deploy renewables, like the lawmakers are trying to do in Wyoming.

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Small-scale solar power will give light in electroless home

January 27, 2017 | Norfund and KLP invests in small solar power that can provide light in households without electricity, through the US company d.light. This is one of the company's product packages.

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Don't leave 30% of the world behind

January 18, 2017 | The coming ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ is set to drive the convergence of technologies that blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological spectrums, but if access to reliable energy, banking and the internet are neglected, 30 percent of the world’s population are in danger of being left behind.

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D.light Raises Another $10.5MM as Kenya Launches $150MM Mobile Pay-Go Solar Plan

January 17, 2017 | Mobile pay-go solar pioneer d.light announced it raised another $10.5 million of capital this morning (Jan. 16) to help fund its international expansion.

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d.light raises US$10.5 million for off-grid solar

January 16, 2017 | Solar product distributor d.light has raised another US$10.5 million, bringing its total to US$40 million in four months for off-grid ventures in Africa and Asia.

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MPOWERD and d.light: Winners of the Solar Lantern Competition 2016

December 21, 2016 | After four weeks running the Solar Lantern Competition 2016, we got votes of users from 30 countries worldwide...

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Shop The Aha X Fast Company Holiday Pop-Up

November 30, 2016 | Co.Design’s annual Innovation By Design competition honors the best design of the year. Now, Fast Company is teaming up with the design marketplace Aha on a holiday pop-up shop featuring the work of select honorees.

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Eight African Home Solar Startups Win $4 Million in Scaling Off-Grid Energy Enterprise Grants

November 23, 2016 | Launched by President Barack Obama in 2013, Power Africa is achieving unprecedented success in expanding access to electricity and spurring sustainable development across the African continent, particularly in remote rural areas south of the Sahara, where best estimates say two of every three people lack access to electricity.

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Power the rise of emerging market consumers to tackle climate change

November 17, 2016 |It would be easy to become depressed about the outlook for climate policy. After all, the topic barely warranted a mention during the recent US election, except for occasional disparaging remarks from the now president-elect. But at this week’s UN climate conference in Marrakesh, delegates have attempted to build ...

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Au Kenya, les marchandes de soleil domestique

November 11, 2016 |Il fallait la douce morsure de l’ennui pour que Penina sorte de sa retraite anticipée. Ça lui a pris comme ça, un jour de langueur devant la télé. Al-Jazira diffusait une conférence sur l’énergie dans laquelle un jeune Américain élancé présentait son produit pour « améliorer profondément la vie des Kényans »

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122, Sam Goldman, d.light | Affordable and Clean Energy for the Developing World

November 06, 2016 | Both of Sam Goldman’s parents for the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Sam lived in several countries in Africa before he reached elementary school. He attended elementary school in Pakistan, middle school in Peru and high school in India.

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D.light raises $7.5 million in debt financing

November 03, 2016 | US-based d.light, which sells solar-powered lamps in villages with unreliable or no electricity connections, has raised an additional funding of $7.5 million. The funding comes in the form of debt financing from impact investment manager Developing World Markets.

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d.light secures additional US$7.5 million in debt financing for off-grid solar

November 01, 2016 | d.light, a solar solutions provider for communities without access to reliable power, has secured US$7.5 million in debt financing from investment manager Developing World Markets.

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d.light secures USD 7.5 million from Developing World Markets for off-grid solar

October 31, 2016 | Coming off a recent USD 22.5 million Series D funding round, d.light, a manufacturer and distributor of solar lighting and power products, secured USD 7.5 million in debt financing to expand its existing solar lantern and home system solutions, and to bring new products to market, including a solar-powered TV.

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Solar lantern firm d.light obtains $7.5 million in debt financing from Developing World Markets

October 31, 2016 | On October 31, d.light announced that it had secured $7.5 million in debt financing from impact investment manager Developing World Markets.

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d.light Secures $7.5 Million from Developing World Markets, Raising Total of $30 Million This Year For Off-Grid Solar

October 31, 2016 | Coming off a recent $22.5 million Series D funding round, d.light's momentum continues as it secured $7.5 million in debt financing to expand its existing solar lantern and home system solutions, and to bring new products to market, including a solar-powered TV. 

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d.light Secures $7.5 Million from Developing World Markets

October 31, 2016 | Coming off a recent $22.5 million Series D funding round, d.light’s momentum continues as it secured $7.5 million in debt financing to expand its existing solar lantern and home system solutions, and to bring new products to market, including a solar-powered TV. 

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Solar lighting company D.light raises $7.5 million and reveals plans for a solar-powered TV

October 31, 2016 | D.light, a for-profit social enterprise that manufactures and distributes solar-powered products aimed at “off-grid” communities, has raised $7.5 million in a debt financing round from investment management company Developing World Markets.

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d.light Secures $7.5 Million from Developing World Markets, Raising Total of $30 Million This Year For Off-Grid Solar

October 31, 2016 | Coming off a recent $22.5 million Series D funding round, d.light’s momentum continues as it secured $7.5 million in debt financing to expand its existing solar lantern and home system solutions, and to bring new products to market, including a solar-powered TV.  

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d.light Raises $7.5M in Debt Financing

October 31, 2016 | d.light, a San Francisco, CA, Nairobi, Kenya, and New Delhi, India-based developer of connected products for off-grid households and small businesses, secured $7.5m in debt financing. 

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How to avoid the pitfalls of innovation in emerging markets

October 26, 2016 | There was an idea that caught popular attention a few years ago: basic, affordable products from emerging markets for use in their home countries could eventually move up and disrupt global markets. But the record has been mixed. What does it take for successful innovation? 

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Solar Lighting Has Eliminated 20 Million Kerosene Lanterns

October 21, 2016 | Solar LEDs are having a real impact on dirty, dangerous lighting sources. 

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Solar Power Comes To Sub-Saharan Africa

October 7, 2016 | You may not even consider Africa when thinking about all the places that make use of solar power technologies, and before now, you were probably right not to.  But, thanks to a start-up company, D.Light, solar energy has been made a viable option for those in even the remotest of areas in the form of solar-powered lanterns.

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Private equity consortium backs d.light

September 30, 2016 | d.light, the solar lighting and power products company with operations in Africa and Asia has landed $22.5 million in financing from a consortium including private equity investors including KawiSafi Ventures Fund, Energy Access Ventures, Omidyar Network and NewQuest Capital Partners.

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Africa Mobile Pay-Go Solar Developer Beats the Odds, Raises $22.5M in Venture Capital

September 30, 2016 | Mobile pay-as-you-go solar pioneer d.light on Sept. 21 announced that it has raised $15 million in Series D equity from KawiSafi Ventures Fund, Energy Access Ventures, Omidyar Network and NewQuest Capital Partners, as well as $2.5 million in debt funding raised through SunFunder.

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SOLAR COMPANY RAISES FUNDS FOR PAYGO BUSINESS IN OFF-GRID MARKETS

September 26, 2016 | In regions not connected to the grid, people often have to rely on burning wood or kerosene to get lighting. But with recent advances in portable solar, a new, clean solution is becoming available to an increasing number of people in those regions.

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D-Light raises $22.5m for solar support

September 25, 2016 | D-Light has raised $22.5 million to support families and small businesses seeking to instal solar lighting solutions.

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Domestic solar start-up d.light raises Sh2.2bn for East Africa expansion

September 23, 2016 | Home solar solution provider d.light has announced it has secured $22.5 million (Sh2.2bn) in financing to grow its PayGo business and support its mission of providing solar energy solutions for households and small businesses around the world.

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Why We Invested: d.light

September 23, 2016 | When Ned Tozun and Sam Goldman founded d.light in 2006, their ambitious goal was to reach 100 million lives by 2020, providing families without access to reliable electricity with high-quality, affordable, and innovative solar-powered consumer products. 

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Kenyan Solar Company, D.Light, Has Raised $22.5million In Funding

September 22, 2016 | 10-year old off-grid solar startup, d.light, has secured over $22million in funding to grow its PayGo business.

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Solar power company raises Sh2.25bn to connect homes

September 22, 2016 | Solar power equipment distributor d.light has announced securing $22.5 million (Sh2.25 billion) for its PayGo business which provides homes with cheaper and clean power solutions.

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Nexus-backed solar lighting products firm d.light raises $22.5 mn

September 22, 2016 | San Francisco-headquartered solar lighting & power products maker d.light has raised $15 million (Rs 100 crore) in Series D round of equity funding from KawiSafi Ventures Fund, Energy Access Ventures, Omidyar Network and NewQuest Capital Partners, it said on Wednesday.

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Solar can power African home for $56 per year, says IRENA

September 22, 2016 | The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has today published a report outlining how tumbling solar costs are making PV one of the cheapest means for powering many parts of Africa.

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d.light raises over US$22.5 million to expand PayGo business into new off-grid solar markets

September 22, 2016 | d.light, a solar solutions provider for communities without access to reliable power, has secured US$22.5 million in new financing to grow its PayGo business into additional off-grid territories.

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Off-Grid solar firm d.light hits 1.6 million households in Kenya | Raises $22.5m for regional expansion

September 22, 2016 | Nairobi-based off-grid solar firm d.light has raised $22.5 million Series D financing to expand into new markets  in a move to support its mission of providing solar energy solutions for households and small businesses around the world.

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Solar solutions provider d.light raises $22.5 million

September 21, 2016 | d.light, which sells solar-powered lamps in villages with unreliable or no electricity connections, has raised $22.5 million in a Series D round of funding, co-founder and chief executive officer Ned Tozun said on Wednesday.

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D.light Raises $22.5M for Off-Grid Solar as Energy Giants Take Notice

September 21, 2016 | Nearly two months after solar lantern startup d.light design expanded its pay-as-you-go financing system for solar lanterns and home solar systems, the company has raised $22.5 million in a Series D debt and equity round to help scale that financing solution globally.

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This Startup Has Brought Off-Grid Solar to 65 Million People

September 21, 2016 |Decade-old startup d.light has sold solar-powered lanterns and lights to millions of customers in off-grid rural areas like Sub-Saharan Africa.

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D.light raises $22.5 million to push its solar-powered products into more off-grid communities

September 21, 2016 | D.light, a for-profit social enterprise that sells solar-powered products, has raised $22.5 million in funding to push its wares into more off-grid communities around the world.

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Solar energy company d.light bags $15 mln Series D

September 21, 2016 | Solar energy company d.light has secured $15 million in Series D funding. The investors were KawiSafi Ventures Fund, Energy Access Ventures, Omidyar Network and NewQuest Capital Partners. In addition to this financing, d.light has raised $2.5 million in debt funding through SunFunder.

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Looking to leapfrog the power grid, d.light raises $22 million for solar in emerging markets

September 21, 2016 | The development of mobile payment platforms, increasing options for providing debt, and cheaper and better off-grid solar power systems are presenting countries around the world with a chance to leapfrog the archaic electricity infrastructure that defined the twentieth century.

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Energy startup d.light raises $22.5M to expand customer financing

September 21, 2016 | Energy startup d.light raised $22.5 million Wednesday to provide solar power to emerging markets.

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IBL 21: Building a Career in Renewable Energy | Karl Skare

September 14, 2016 | In our latest episode of the Impact Business Leaders podcast, we interview Karl Skare, Director of New Business Initiatives at d.light. d.light is a global leader in solar-powered solutions for people without access to reliable electricity.

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This Lantern Is A Truly Bright Idea

September 12, 2016 | When Sam Goldman was a Peace Corps volunteer in the West African nation of Benin in 2004, he saw a boy get seriously injured in a kerosene-lamp fire. So later, while attending Stanford’s design school, Goldman—working with fellow student Ned Tozun—decided to create something that could better serve the more than 1 billion people around the world who lack electricity. 

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[INSIGHT] Could Mobile “Pay as You Go” Solar Succeed in China?

September 11, 2016 | “Pay as you go” solar power systems are cropping up across Sub-Saharan Africa, bringing affordable, reliable, emissions-free electricity to rural communities and creating new business opportunities......

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EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: An option for 30% of the world's population 

August 15, 2016 | We sat down with Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun, founders of d.light, a global social enterprise aiming to improve the lives of the two billion people in the developing world that live without access to reliable energy.

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Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs: Interview with Ned Tozun, cofounder of d.light 

August 9, 2016 | Ned is the cofounder of d.light, a for-profit social enterprise that designs, manufactures and distributes solar lights and power products to the developing world; the company provides high quality light and cost savings to households, farms and small businesses.

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Kenya: Solar Lanterns Empower Households in Nyamonye

July 18, 2016 | The use of various solar lamps in Africa’s off-grid areas is quickly gaining popularity.  Village households are increasingly using solar powered products. Electricity from main grid remains unreliable and expensive. 

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Reducing Energy Poverty Not Only for Solar and Impact Investors

July 25, 2016 | One day, a friend of Bala Suleman, who lived near Kano, Nigeria, was raving to him about a new portable solar light he’d started using. Suleman, a chicken farmer, was skeptical but open to learning more about his friend’s new acquisition.

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How This Entrepreneur Is Turning a Profit in Developing Countries

July 7, 2016 | The following excerpt is from Jason Haber's new book The Business of Good. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound

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D.light Expands Its Financing Platform for Off-Grid Solar Home Systems

June 30, 2016 | Solar lantern startup d.light design is licensing its pay-as-you-go financing to its partners and distributors across the globe to scale the reach of its solar lights and home systems.

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How a snake bite turned into a bright idea

June 30, 2016 | When d.light co-founder Sam Goldman (pictured left with co-founder Ned Tozun) got bitten by a snake in Africa one night, it led to a series of events - and a moment of clarity that eventually turned into a startup now providing millions of people around the world with an alternative energy source.

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d.light Continues to  Drive Increased Energy Options to Billions Without Reliable Access 

June 29, 2016 | n an effort to expand quality solar home system solutions to the 2.3 billion people worldwide without reliable access to power...

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d.light Comprehensive Pay-As-You-Go Solar Financing Platform Now Available to Global Partners 

June 29, 2016 | d.light driving increased energy options to the 2.3 billion people living without access to reliable power to achieve its goal of reaching 100 million people by 2020

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Business Insider 100- The Creators

June 13, 2016 | Business Insider honored d.light as one of it’s 100 companies, large and small, that transcend the boundaries of capitalism and generate creative worth that challenges the idea of traditional business success.

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How to Empower 50 Million: A Lesson in Agility From d.light

May 25, 2016 | Have you heard of the butterfly effect? Coined by mathematician Edward Lorenz, the term refers to the idea that something as small as the beating of a butterfly’s wings can alter the course of a hurricane.

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2015-16 Global LEAP Award

May 15, 2016 | Supported by the Clean Energy Ministerial, the 2015–16 Global LEAP Awards is an international competition that identifies and promotes the world’s best, most energy-efficient off-grid appliances.