Women earn by solar sales

Women Earn Income for Their Families While Changing Their Communities Through Solar Energy Access

The “Empowering Women Microfranchisees” program trains rural women in energy poor communities to promote and sell renewable energy products and technologies to families without electricity. To date, IDEAS has trained over 85 women micro-franchisees, reaching over 20,400 new families (102,000 individuals) with education on how solar products could save them money, improve their health and improve their family well-being. Read more

Expansion Plans

Through the initial pilot phase in the second half of 2011, it became obvious very quickly that these solar-powered items were in high demand and that rural women were perfectly capable of promoting and selling these new technologies. It was also apparent that the women microfranchisees could make what is to them a significant amount of money and therefore would be motivated to continue selling month after month. Read more

Profiles of Women Microfranchisees

Microfranchisees are rural women from fair trade coffee cooperatives that possess the basic skills and motivation to promote solar and other appropriate technologies and sell small solar-powered items door to door.  Microfranchisees are recruited in groups of 5-10 women per group.  These women are vetted by the management of their coffee cooperative to ensure that they are active community members (which provides natural sales outlets), have experience managing income from a business, and are in good standing financially (since microfranchisees handle hundreds of dollars worth of product on a regular basis). Read more


TecAp currently offers several solar lighting solutions as well as solar-powered cellular phone chargers.  Lighting solutions range from a solar-powered “lightbulb” to high-powered, multi-functional lanterns that can be hung from a ceiling to provide light to a room or carried by hand at night. Read more

Sales Process

1.  Groups of potential microfranchisees are identified and recruited.

2.  New microfranchisees attend a series of business development trainings

3.  Microfranchisees receive sample products and catalogs. Click here for a list of product photos and descriptions. Read more

TecAp Structure

TecAp Structure

The TecAp microfranchise is made up of the microfranchisor (IDEAS), the microfranchise (TecAp), and the microfranchisees (groups of rural women in fair trade coffee cooperatives). Read more

Women microfranchisees

TecAp assists women in rural Nicaragua to become microfranchisees.  These rural women receive training on sales and marketing strategies so that they can successfully sell solar-powered products and promote larger systems of solar energy and labor saving technologies to their neighbors. This has succeeded in improving their incomes and their neighbors’ quality of life in their fair trade coffee cooperatives. Read more