SunFunderbased in San Francisco, is  a social enterprise building a crowdfunding platform for individual investors to finance solar projects around the world.

To put it briefly, over 1.5 billion people (over 20% of the world's population!) do not have access to electricity.  In many cases, these same people live in sun-abundant regions where as SunFunder describes, "there is a huge opportunity for solar to leapfrog the non-existent electricity grid system this decade" - and guess what, the solar technology to light up these off-grid communities exists.

The major issue however, is the shortage of financing to fund this "off-grid solar revolution" and the SunFunder solution was created to provide an online crowdfunding platform to connect interested individual investors (like you and me!) to lend money (as little as $25!) to fund off-grid solar projects around the world.

How does it work?

SunFunder builds strong partnerships with solar energy businesses and non-profits around the world, to assemble a portfolio of robust solar projects (eg. purchasing and selling solar light bulbs for a village of 500 people, building a solar micro-grid).

The individual investor browses the available projects, selects a specific project of interest, and invests.  Once the funding target is reached (this solar lighting project took 62 investors), SunFunder provides low-cost financing to the solar partner to fund the implementation of the project.

As the customers make payments to the solar partner, the partner makes repayments to SunFunder, and SunFunder repays its investors.

In addition to reimbursing its investors, SunFunder would like to pay interest to its investors, and now American legislation is moving in the right direction to facilitate that with the passing of the JOBS Act.  However, the laws are still complicated so in the meantime, SunFunder is providing additional value to its investors via its "Impact Points" program. Impact Points can be used to reinvest more solar projects, which will then be repaid with more Impact Points, growing your impact.

Created only at the beginning of 2012, SunFunder has already launched and fully-financed two solar projects, one in Zambia, one in the Philippines.

This is your chance to become a cleantech investor.  Check out SunFunder now!