Hoxton charity Solar Aid wins responsible business award for selling solar-powered lights

The team at Sunny Money pick up their award. Pictures: Alastair Fyfe

The team at Sunny Money pick up their award. Pictures: Alastair Fyfe - Credit: Photo Alastair Fyfe

A social enterprise set up by a Hoxton charity to sell solar lights in Africa has won a prize for being a pioneering “responsible business”.

SunnyMoney – established by Solar Aid, whose HQ is in East Road – won the global development award at the 20th annual Responsible Business Awards.

The gongs were set up to highlight innovative and sustainable solutions to pressing challenges.

More than 600million people don’t have access to electricity in Africa and most will use kerosene or paraffin – which, apart from being expensive, is also dangerous.

The fuel can cause fatal burns and lung disease from breathing in fumes, the charity says.

What’s more, the light it gives off is too dim for reading without causing eye strain.

SunnyMoney sells and distributes solar lights in Uganda, Malawi and Zambia through school networks and local enterprises. Solar Aid picks up the cost of £4 for each light sold through fundraising.

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A spokesman for Solar Aid said: “If we were a conventional business driven by profit, rather than impact, we would continue to ignore the needs of those who need better energy access more than anyone.”