Powering Women’s Entrepreneurship

SELF and local partner, the Rape Hurts Foundation (RHF), have launched a project aimed at expanding entrepreneurship opportunities for women in Bukyerimba, Uganda.

In the past, this partnership has focused on powering safer spaces for local women and expanding resources for survivors of sexual assault. But to move beyond a state of surviving to a life of thriving, these women also need a way to earn income and achieve financial independence.

To bring these opportunities closer, SELF procured five commercial-scale Lytefire solar ovens. These ovens draw directly on energy from the sun to reach temperatures as high as 300°C / 572°F. Capable of baking, roasting, dehydrating, and cooking large quantities of food, these systems offer a reliable solution to preparing a variety of goods. The women can then sell their products at local markets and begin to build wealth.

The technology is much cleaner than traditional cooking fuels, such as wood and coal, which can be hazardous to the environment and human health. Having these cookers available also means more time to focus on growing their business rather than spending hours a day gathering fuel.

The cookers arrived at the RHF site in November of 2022. A series of trainings were held to equip the women with baking knowledge and business skills. Technical trainings were also held, including maintenance and troubleshooting, to ensure these systems will serve the community for years to come.

The women have begun their entrepreneurship journeys, and SELF looks forward to reporting back on their stories.

A Lytefire solar oven is unloaded in Bukyerimba, Uganda for a Solar Electric Light Fund project with the Rape Hurts Foundation
Rape Hurts Foundation staff set up Lytefire solar ovens funded by the Solar Electric Light Fund

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SELF is a global leader in the fight against energy poverty. Since 1990, we’ve pioneered unique applications for solar energy, powering progress on food security, health care, education, gender equity, and more. 

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