This project is completed

Solar PV systems are objectively affordable items and yet they represent a fairly large up-front investment for the rural low-income communities who are currently using paraffin. Most solar companies have refrained from entering the rural market due to perceived high risk and transaction costs. 

SNV seeks to increase access to modern lighting for households at the base of the pyramid by establishing and strengthening sustainable and commercially viable supply and distribution models for quality solar PV products and services at the local level. Through the rural solar market development program, we build the capacity of existing rural entrepreneurs and youths for rural marketing, sales, aftersales services maintenance and last mile distribution of solar PV products in rural Zimbabwe. The project strategy is to help develop the rural solar market in Zimbabwe by investing in the business relationship between formal solar suppliers and the informal rural distributors. This helps reduce transaction costs and increases availability of clean energy services in rural communities.  


  • Recognised as best SNV Pico PV project – GOGLA, Dubai, 2015 
  • The rural youth training programme has trained more than 37O rural and peri-urban based youth in solar technologies and business skills. 
  • More than 288 of the trained youths are now generating income from conducting pico PV related business. 
  • To date, more than 65,000 products have been sold country-wide, with 12,000 households getting access to pico PV lighting. 
  • More than US$1.2 million has been invested by communities in solar pico PV products.
  • The project has enabled central solar distributors to increase their market share by tapping into rural markets.
Participating in the Rural Solar Market Development project has been a life-changing experience for me.Sharon Mutumwa, Young woman, Solar entrepreneur