Name: Stella Lunkuse
Company Name: Solar Nation SMC Ltd
Designation: Managing Director

Get ready for an inspiring dive into our HER Success Stories Series, where we spotlight trailblazing female entrepreneurs. In the spotlight today is Stella Lunkuse, the driving force behind Solar Nation SMC Ltd in Uganda. Established in 2019, Solar Nation isn’t just a business; it’s a movement towards sustainable energy, aligning perfectly with SIMA Fund’s commitment to a gender lens and women empowerment. Through this series, we’re thrilled to showcase the incredible impact of women like Stella and their pivotal roles in the companies under various funds of SIMA Funds. So, let’s uncover the dynamic synergy between Stella Lunkuse, Solar Nation, and SIMA Funds in this journey towards a brighter, empowered future.

Could you share your personal journey in becoming an entrepreneur and what inspired you to pursue your current business?

With an aspiration to contribute to the availability of light especially in the off-grid rural areas, I founded Solar Nation in 2019 after resigning from the Uganda Revenue Authority to pursue my dream in the renewable energy space.

How has your background and life experiences influenced the mission and values of your company, and the impact you aim to make in the world?

My background is of hard work, living with several families as my parents died early, and enormous determination to always succeed no matter the situation i.e., always succeeding in village schools yet struggling in the town schools but always grateful to those who paid my school fees and pushing forward.

Four years into Uganda Revenue Authority I started getting the urge to grow and an idea of change of division came in. Good enough my request was granted and I changed division from the Enforcement division to Customs Trade. I thereafter felt so motivated though as if I was beginning afresh as I needed to change my mindset to read more and go back to school to deliver on my then new assignments effectively but at least my motivation with a knowledgeable and excellent team plus a supportive supervisor were all at my disposal. This division helped to improve my reading culture, writing skills, speech, and presentations and prepared me for my new position as a founder.

In joining Solar Nation, I received an affirmation that hard work, discipline, resilience, sticking to values, patience, respect for others, teamwork, and continuous learning were not virtues to be dropped so I have strongly held on to them. They have greatly contributed to helping Solar Nation have a strong company culture as I realize employees go the way we show them.

This has further influenced our Vision: ‘’A Nation in which clean energy is the preferred power solution’’ to be achieved mainly through reliability.

as well as our Mission: “To provide leading edge clean energy solutions while enhancing a green-focused environment contributing towards sustainable development for all’’ always looking for better solutions as we provide our renewable energy services.”

We are already making an impact this includes contributing to Sustainable Development Goal No. 7: ensuring access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable, and Modern Clean Energy upon which Solar Nation has installed over 180KWp in both home and commercial systems around Uganda economically impacting over 40 people through both indirect and direct jobs, socially impacting over 400 households each with an average of five people which is equivalent to 2000 lives impacted and environmentally contributed to the offset of 2,911,000 Carbon Emission Offset hence saving the environment by end of 2022.

What are some of the achievements or milestones in your business journey so far?  Can you share an example of a project or initiative that you’re most proud of?

We have recently ventured into Commercial and Industrial Solar Systems in Addition to Domestic Solar Systems, and we are happy to have installed:

  • 45KW Solar System for a Research based firm
  • 45Kw Solar System for a Diary Farm

These are giving us the confidence to handle bigger and bigger systems.

Can you describe the challenges you faced during your entrepreneurial journey? Did you encounter any specific gender-specific challenges? How did you overcome them?

Yes, first of all, lack of cash inflows, and sales -customers in the solar sector are built and maintained over time, having to professionalize costs at the beginning especially when cashflows are limited.

About gender, I am happy to have come into a sector that encourages ladies to do business therefore I have no complaints.

Resilience, reliability, and offering quality products and services are our strengths. Most of our clients have been referred by someone, and we have kept the relations hence our client base is growing.

What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur that you would like to pass on to others considering a similar path?

  • Valuing employees is very important.
  • Practicing customer protection contributes to our Vision.
  • Considering the impact of our business on the world is important.
  • We cannot do without the tax man.
  • Systems are a must-have i.e. accounting systems.
  • Policies strongly held on to are required.
  • Understanding the market is key.
  • Knowing the level our company is at the moment is important.

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals for the future and how do you plan to continue making a difference through your work?

Looking ahead, under Solar Nations Commercial and Industrial Sector, we have introduced a Solar Dryer Section where we design and construct customized Solar Dryers to suit our client’s needs. This aims to significantly contribute to Sustainable Development Goal No. 1 (End Poverty) and Goal No. 2 (Achieve Food Security and Promote Sustainable Agriculture). Solar Nation is to achieve this by constructing Solar Dryers to facilitate drying fruits and vegetables for commercial purposes, a journey we have started and are completing construction of a 500Kgs per batch a week dryer for fruits and vegetables.


As we wrap up this edition of HER Success Stories, we’ve delved into the incredible world of Stella Lunkuse and Solar Nation SMC Ltd, all while keeping in mind the shared commitment to gender equality and empowerment championed by SIMA Fund. Stella’s entrepreneurial journey and the meaningful work of Solar Nation echo the values SIMA Fund holds dear. Stay tuned for more stories of women who are making waves, breaking barriers, and driving positive change in their communities. A special thank you to Stella, Solar Nation, and SIMA Fund for showcasing the true power of women in business. Until our next installment, keep dreaming big and celebrating the impact of incredible women entrepreneurs!

About Solar Nation Uganda

As a featured story in our HER Success Stories Series, Solar Nation stands tall as an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) trailblazer, specializing in the design, procurement, installation, and maintenance of diverse solar systems across the country. With a seasoned team boasting over 15 years of collective experience, we pride ourselves on delivering customized solutions for commercial and industrial solar systems, domestic setups, solar drier construction, water pumping, heating, power backups, assorted components, and solar street lighting. Our commitment extends beyond project completion; we aim to forge lasting partnerships with clients, ensuring timely, budget-friendly, and quality outcomes. As you explore our website, you’ll witness the passion and expertise that make Solar Nation Limited – Uganda your trusted partner in illuminating a more sustainable future.

For more information, please visit