Nina Marsalek : Solanterns Initiative

  • Kenya

Solanterns Initiative

An initiative dedicated to replacing 1 million of Kenya’s kerosene lanterns with solar powered lights and to creating micro-entrepreneur jobs.

A program to replace the polluting and dangerous kerosene lamps used in developing countries with clean and affordable solar lanterns. The initiative also creates jobs through a micro-entrepreneur model.


77% of Kenyans do not have access to electricity and are therefore disadvantaged with low prospects for learning, economic development, and healthy living. Simply having access to light would begin to transform daily life. Most Kenyans are dependent on kerosene lamps, which are expensive, cause serious health problems, and start fires.


Sun-powered lanterns are safe, emission free, and affordable for even low-income households. They are designed to be used in rough environments and provide easy-to-use light that helps increase school performance and business productivity. The initiative’s micro-entrepreneur model also creates jobs, especially benefitting young people and women.

“By combining a high quality product and our micro-entrepreneur approach, we promote renewable energy technologies, increase people’s health, and create jobs at the same time.” – Nina Marsalek, COO, The Solanterns Initiative


The initiative will replace one million kerosene lamps with solar lanterns. Households can save about $140 per year and have a new “quality of light.” Additionally, micro-entrepreneurs can make a living from their solar lantern businesses.

“Solar lanterns can improve people’s lives and give them access to clean and affordable light. By collaborating with microfinance institutions, we can make solar lanterns accessible even for low-income households. And by addressing a great number of people, we can also help fight against climate change.” – Nina Marsalek, COO, The Solanterns Initiative