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Frederik Ottesen

Frederik Ottesen

Co-founder, Little Sun

Frederik Ottesen is an experienced entrepreneur with a background in mechanical engineering and economics. Ottesen also works closely alongside Solar Flight’s engineers and aviators in developing the company’s new projects, such as the world’s first two-person solar-powered airplane. He is the former CEO of Matriks A/S, a software company he started in 1998.

ACHIEVEMENT / What is your project, initiative, startup, company all about?

Artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen developed the Little Sun solar LED lamp to get clean, reliable, affordable light to the 1.2 billion people worldwide without access to electricity.

LOCATION / In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?

Currently Little Sun is available in eight African countries: Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Senegal, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Africa, as well as in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan. Little Sun’s headquarters is located in Berlin, Germany.

IMPACT / What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental… of the activity, project, initiative, startup, company?

Little Sun is a social business and global project, addressing the need for light in a sustainable way that benefits off-grid communities, creates local jobs, and generates local profits. The lamps are sold at a higher price in areas of the world with electricity so that the lamps can be sold in off-grid areas at much lower, locally affordable prices.

In off-grid areas, kerosene lanterns are commonly used for light, but their smoky emissions are toxic and cause significant health problems. Using Little Sun lamps at night means people living without electricity can work, study, cook dinner, and socialise – safely. Little Sun is not only a clean, sustainable alternative to fuel-based light, it’s also more affordable: in the course of two years, Little Sun saves off-grid users 90% of what they would spend on kerosene.

QUOTE / A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you.

“What especially excites me about Little Sun is our capacity to deliver solar light, as well as livelihoods, to areas without electricity. In most off-grid areas, legitimate business opportunities are rare, and Little Sun offers people a way to make an income as they bring much-needed solar energy to their communities.”