By Nudge Sustainability Reporter Emanuel Manko
Jua is a Swahili (Tanzanian national language) word for sun, therefore, Juabar means solar bar in English. Founded in 2012 by Olivia Nara and Sacha Decou and started operating in 2014, Juabar is a franchise network providing solar power in Tanzania's rural areas where people are not connected to the grid electricity. Their mission is to develop profitable small business opportunities in Tanzania while meeting community energy and connectivity needs.
The startup uses a network of solar powered kiosks that use 50W solar-PV systems in charging up to 20 phones or a variation of other small electronic devices at once, while providing complementary retail and product sales.
The franchisees called Juapreneurs are trained and start working with a phone charging business via the solar charging kiosks where they earn between 75-175 USD per month, which is 2.5 to 5 times the average monthly income in Tanzania.
Juabar design considers security, modularity, locally available materials and manufacturing, and ease-of-use for its operators.
With over 60% of the Tanzanian population using mobile phones as a means for communication, banking, agriculture services, civic engagement, education and healthcare services especially in rural areas, Juabar is trying to meet rural communities energy and connectivity needs.
As a self-energized kiosk Juabar is a product designed to exist in public space as pop-up solar electrified shop for entrepreneurs.