Scene 6: Exploring Other Products

Tuesday, December 9th


After the Low Income Energy Strategy Task Team meeting, Andrew provided us with Terry Murphy’s contact information to meet with him and learn more about his products and distribution methods to possibly add his alternative energy product to our product catalog for crèche leaders. Terry distributes the Multi-functional Solar LED Light, a rechargeable and portable LED that can charge a cell phone. Before the meeting with Terry, Alex and Rachel briefly met with Max to provide him with all the important documents and project updates since he will be continuing the project when the Energy Team leaves. Together, they reviewed the Entrepreneurial Packet, explaining all the contents again, and made important revisions to the Pilot Program for implementation at other crèches in the new year. Rachel also presented Max with his Shared Action Learning Certificate of Participation for his commitment throughout the project.

Cast of Characters

Terry Murphy owns and operates Fluoresave Lighting. He has been working to sell his Solar LED Light in informal settlements.


The informational meeting took place in the afternoon at Truth, a local coffee shop. Since it is conveniently located on the main road and has a number of tables, it was an ideal place to discuss the Fluoresave Lighting product and the current distribution methods used by the company.


Rachel began the meeting by introducing the Energy Team and providing a brief overview of our project. Then, Terry described his product, a LED light and phone charger with a solar panel to recharge the device. The major benefits he pointed out were the small, transportable solar panel, so that it was not stolen, and the ability to charge a cell phone. Currently, his main customers have been the mid-income class, but he wants to find a way to sell to people in informal settlements. He hopes that by increasing the number of people in these communities that use these solar lights there will be fewer shack fires. After understanding his desire to sell products in informal settlements, we suggested the idea of crèche’s acting as distribution locations. He had never thought of this idea, but seemed interested. To determine if he fit the requirements of a distributor in our entrepreneurial business model, we asked him more about his distribution methods. Terry does deliver the products to different communities, but had not heard of microconsignment. Once we explained the idea, he said he was willing to supply inventory on that model. He next explained his strategy to target the low income communities. Some of the ways he has tried selling the product already is by marketing with a radio advertisement in Khayelitsha and setting up a booth in the new shopping center located in a low income area. Terry also has several people working for him that sell the light through direct sales; they each receive a 10% commission per sale. He ended the meeting by providing us with a Multi-functional Solar LED Light and asking for our Findings Report as he was interested in our entrepreneurial business model for distributing energy products in the informal settlements.


The Fluoresave Light


Attached Solar Panel

Reflection and Learning

Meeting with another product distributor was beneficial; it provided not only an additional product for crèches leaders to distribute, but valuable feedback. Terry was encountering the same challenges we had faced in promoting energy efficient products in low income communities. Therefore, it was exciting to share our research with him as a way to help distribute his product and benefit more people. He also had all of the characteristics a product distributor needs to be successful in our entrepreneurial business model: ability to deliver the products and willingness to supply inventory on microconsignment. It was very helpful to get feedback from an energy product distributor who met these requirements and was looking for a way to distribute in informal settlements.

Scene 7: Graduation