How I raised $40 million to give rural farmers solar power

Samir Ibrahim, 33, is the CEO and co-founder of SunCulture, a climate-tech company specializing in developing and commercializing solar power irrigation systems. The company is based out of Nairobi, Kenya, and provides and installs solar-powered drip irrigation systems to rural farmers in Kenya and beyond. Sunculture makes food more accessible to small farmers in Africa by providing affordable products that promote sustainability.

Samir grew up in Orlando, Florida, and both his parents are immigrants from East Africa. In 2011, the idea for SunCulture came about after Samir and his co-founder Charles Henry, placed second in a business pitch competition at the NYU Stern School of Business. After this took place, Samir and his partner took $5,000 of their own money to fly to Nairobi, Kenya, and build a pilot product. After a month of testing, the pair realized they were onto something. They borrowed $200,000 from family members, which they put towards development, prototyping and research. By 2017, Samir knew the product was ready to scale, and today, SunCulture has become Africa’s largest distributor of solar irrigation pumps while employing more than 350 people.

Watch the video above to hear more about Samir’s story.

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