Hilaria is a basket weaver, a farmer and a solar entrepreneur. She lives in a rural town in Northern Tanzania with her family and was one of Solar Sister’s first entrepreneurs.
Hilaria has reached over 1,700 people with clean energy in her community, selling small solar lights and phone chargers as well as clean cookstoves.
I decided to become an entrepreneur because there was no electricity in this area.
In her quest to spread clean energy in her community, Hilaria has encountered challenges and successes. She started out in 2013 by buying a dozen solar lights, a mix of small portable lights and the larger phone charging lights. In her first month, she sold 25 products, and hasn’t looked back!
And yet Hilaria is still up against the challenges of doing business in a very challenging environment. She lives in a rural community a stone’s throw from the edge of Tarangire, one of Tanzania’s famous wildlife parks. Despite the huge amount of foreign tourism here, many of the villages in this region are still waiting for power, and for decent roads and good transport options. All of this impacts on running a sustainable small business. This is also one reason why getting clean energy to last-mile communities is so difficult.
But Hilaria is keeping her eye on the prize, determined to continue to grow and expand both her solar and her woven basket businesses.
She has some important things to do with her income: educating her two teenage daughters is one of her most important goals.
If I had studied I would have had so many opportunities. I went to primary school only. I don’t want my children to be like me.
Read more about Hilaria’s journey here.