1) Where are your backpacks manufactured?
Our Soular Backpacks are manufactured in Kenya, in order to create more impact on the ground and generate employment. Our 1:1 Backpacks are manufactured in China.
2) How long does the lamp provide light for?
An hour in the sun provides about 5-6 hours of light. We've just prototyped a new lamp, which we've been working hard on using a lot of human centred design and user feedback.
3) How do you measure social impact?
We take a four-pronged approach, and measure impact amongst parents, teachers, healthcare providers and the students themselves. We use surveys as the primary way to collect data, as well as home visits if possible.
4) When I buy a backpack, does a child get a Soular Backpack?
Yes, whenever you buy a backpack, a child who needs a Soular Backpack in East Africa will get one.
5) Can we come to the distribution events?
Yes! We love having as many people as possible at our distribution events, and we would love to have you there too!
6) Why not just give a child a solar panel for their home instead of a backpack?
The reason we decided to launch Soular was because we talked to around 30 solar companies and asked them what their biggest challenges were. Something that they all had in common was the fact that children would never get to use their products, because parents ended up using the energy to charge their phones, or for their own tasks, which was fair. We wanted to create something that was child-centric, dual-purpose, and would be a child's own tool that they could use to take control of their own education.
7) What is the lifespan of your lamps?
8) How do you ensure your panels don't break?
Our panels are double-coated in plastic and are completely shatter-proof.
9) How many backpacks would you like to have distributed by 2020?
We'd like to have distributed 500,000 backpacks across Africa.
10) Are you looking for retail partners?
Yes, we'd love to grow Soular through retail partners and are always open to collaborating with retailers!