Miller Center Fellowship


Isabel Miranda

Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



Opportunity: ILUMEXICO is growing its solar home business and has an opportunity to acquire more customers through the development of a referral program. A referral program would leverage social connections and ILUMEXICO's reputation within the communities to attract non-customers to ILUMEXICO. In the majority of communities where ILUMEXICO works. there are numerous individuals who received donated solar home systems through the Secretaria de Desarollo Social (SEDESOL). However. in order to maintain. repair. and/or buy new products. many of these individuals often go to expensive hardware stores. Unlike ILUMEXICO, these stores do not offer after-sale services. suggesting that there is a market opportunity of individuals that ILUMEXICO could include in its customer network. To realize this opportunity, ILUMEXICO, can invite its existing customers to participate in a referral program.

Research Activities: The comparative study research conducted in rural Campeche. Mexico (see our report. Lighting the Way Forward in Rural Mexico). revealed fundamental differences between ILUMEXICO's customer network and the government solar program recipients. One hundred percent of ILUMEXICO customers who were interviewed in the Campeche communities during the comparative study would recommend ILUMEXICO's products and services to others in their community. Furthermore. many said they have already recommended ILUMEXICO to others. However. currently there isn't a system in place to track/monitor if ILUMEXICO's customers are actually referring the product and service. or that others are buying from ILUMEXICO based on those referrals.

Deliverable Description: This report offers case studies of how other social enterprises. in similar situations to ILUMEXICO, were able to expand their customer. It then outlines next steps ILUMEXICO could take to obtain the necessary information that will inform a design of a successful referral program. The report suggests two possible avenues for starting and implementing a referral program.



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