We stand before an eager, excited crowd

Imagine…A lamp producing horrible flickering light, which produces a dark acrid smoke. You cough, but you have to finish your work, knowing that a knock of the elbow could mean the end of your home… you never use the mosquito net the local government and charities gave you from fear it will catch fire. You lived with this for years and now have dermatitis, respiratory infections and the slightest thing irritates you.

6 years ago a group of Enactus students at the University of Southampton, UK, learned that over 1 billion people in the world without access to electricity used kerosene, paraffin and other fuels for light. Kerosene is jet fuel. A Jet fuel that even the airline industry is moving away from because it is too toxic, and that’s 30,000ft up let alone in your windowless home.

This is why Right Light was born.

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Fast forward 6 years, from failure to learning, Right Light evolved. A solar lamp rental businesses undercutting the price of kerosene and providing access to solar lighting for even those living in extreme poverty (under $1.25). The Right Light final evolution created 98 entrepreneurs, most with no prior business experience, with over 1500 lamps in circulation.

Now we are here in Uganda starting the Million, Million, Million Plan with Right Light, Petal and Roots. Where Right Light businesses will provide 1 million people with clean lighting in the next 5 years.

The first day of training – Right Light

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We are in Uganda training International Refugee Trust and Organisation for Community Action on our three social enterprise models. 7 days of intense training where we will design each business.

The team were so excited for the training, it filled us with humility. They are the real experts on their community, we are here to support their work and leave sustainable, independent businesses behind.

The training went amazingly well. It worried us slightly when nobody would break from one of the activities to eat lunch. Come on guys, its 36 degrees, we have 5 hours of training left today… eat!

The day was very good fun and the result was two Right Light businesses each with 35 initial lamps with added mobile phone charging capability. This means over 460 people with access to clean lighting and over 400 people with improved and cheaper connectivity.

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Tomorrow, we design the Petal business. Which means, we make sanitary towels. It will be incredibly fun, particularly for the men… trust me.

Right Light’s Big Step Into The Future

 

It is safe to say Right Light has achieved incredible success since its inception back in 2010. It was born out of the selflessness of individuals, with the sole purpose of doing good and helping to make the world a better place.

Sustainability has always been at the very core of Right Light and in all our operations, along with our social entrepreneurship values. We have created a business that is not only sustainable, but has had huge social impact in East Africa.

To this day we have created a network of over 200 entrepreneurs renting out over 1000 solar lamps every single day. This has greatly reduced the amount of kerosene used in the areas we work in, eliminating the serious threat it poses to everyone’s health.

Keldon

Given the size of our operations, we are starting to face challenges that are not necessarily beyond our capacities as students, but certainly require full-time dedication. This dedication will see the project scale up to become a fully-fledged business operating as its own entity.

I am therefore very happy to say that the project is being handed over to Wessex Social Ventures (WSV) – a social impact accelerator that specializes in building ideas and projects into sustainable social businesses. WSV brings together expertise from various social organisations, corporates and their experienced advisory team. This collaboration forms a network committed to using individual skills to accelerate businesses that create significant social benefit.

I would thus like to take this opportunity as the last Project Leader of this fantastic project, to thank all previous team leaders and team members for their hard work and incredible dedication that has gotten the project to where it is today! Nothing would have been possible without any of you, and don’t take this statement lightly! I would like you all to join me in wishing WSV good luck with Right Light, and keep a close eye on this project, as I am certain it will grow to achieve great things!

Andreas Ostrovsky
Right Light Project Leader
Enactus Southampton