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Hello Chelsea,

Thank you so much for your feedback regarding our idea of teaching youths in Uganda how to make solar panels to power homes and businesses and to create jobs for many unemployed youth.
We have thought through the issues raised and incorporated them into our submission.
1) About our business plan, we are targeting 30,000 youth (15000 Males and 15000 Males). To be able to reach this numbers in 5 years, we shall decentralize training in four different locations with 16 Local Community trainers reaching 500 youths per month.
2) We will establish a Solar Micro Loan to support the trained youths start solar businesses in isolated locations. The project will retain some youth in the solar production unit to produce solar panels to match with the growing demand.
3) We anticipate that the project will become financially sustainable in 6 month after the first grant.
4) Regarding women participation, we intend work with 15000 women across communities who will participate in solar production, marketing and training newly recruited youths.
5) Most people in rural areas have difficulties accessing renewable energy technologies due to high costs. Now, our project will bring this technology within reach. It is cheap to make the solar panels locally as 80% of the materials required like the glass, millennium, silicon, back sheets, copper wires are available on the local market. We also bring in bulky cells cheaply making it possible to produce the panels at 0.3 USD per watts and if we sell this out at 0.4 it will be cheaper for people to afford. It will also be easier for many people to access solar systems with the introduction of solar micro loans.
6) With the client feedback sessions we have held, we were able realize the need for solar systems for the rural population with no access to electricity. we have approximately 80% of people living off grid. They move 2-3 kilometers looking for places to charge their telephones, cut or make their hairs, buy kerosene to use for lighting and young boy leaving the rural areas to go and look for jobs in town. We see a great opportunity in this project as we will be helping people learn how to make solar panels and transform their communities.
7) At a certain point early this year, we were interested in the loan to set up the production and training facility for solar in Mbale. But the lending rates were at 24% and we felt this was high. We instead mobilized funds through the training and built the facility. We are still open to explore available loan opportunities with low interest rates.

These are our responses to your questions. We must acknowledge that this platform has helped us to shape our idea through our interaction with the people and your feedback.

Thank you so much.

You are welcome! We appreciate the opportunity to share our idea on this platform and also to learn from other very many inspiring and and empowering ideas from a wider range of people in the region.

wekesa zab