Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
Mukuru Clean Stoves
Explain your project in details:
The virtues of replacing traditional stoves with improved cookstoves are well documented, from reducing exposure to hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), lowering burns risk, reducing fuel consumption, costs and cooking time. However, while the market in Kenya for improved cookstoves is one of the most mature, affordability and accessibility of improved cookstoves remain two of the primary barriers to adoption at scale and millions of households persist with unsustainable methods. Through utilizing recycled materials, establishing partnerships with MFIs targeting women, working with women groups and entrepreneurs in marketing and distribution, and ultimately, by incorporating the knowledge and expertise of those that use the stoves - women - throughout the entire value-chain, Mukuru Clean Stoves has been able to reduce the production and operational costs, whilst maximizing and optimizing the distribution network, hence streamlining the pathway to scale. Mukuru Clean Stoves, East Africas only women-led, manufactured, managed and distributed cookstove value-chain has piloted the model in 2 counties, established demand; which in the coming years, far exceeds Mukurus ability to supply. To take advantage of these partnerships and realize employees, communities and households potential, Mukuru needs to invest heavily to hire, train existing and new employees, invest in our production facilities and distribution hubs, and support customer financing options. The project will: Hire and train a further 8 women artisans and 10 field officers, in addition to 5 back-office staff Purchase an articulated lorry for regional distribution and a pickup for local distribution Finalize GACC certification in collaboration with SNV Monitor and maximize impact Produce and sell at least 25,000 stoves
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
The project improves affordability and accessibility of clean cookstoves in the target areas, increases employment and the skills base of female artisans and technicians, while providing additional revenue streams to female entrepreneurs and reducing CO2 emissions. Fulfilling the supply agreements within our distribution partnerships increases accessibility substantially. The production cost of the cookstove will reduce by 25%, with affordability and accessibility further enhanced through staggered payment methods with our key partners; more than 20 direct jobs will be created, a further 100 women entrepreneurs will access a new revenue stream as distributors, 600 tonnes of waste metallic material will be fabricated and repurposed for sustainable uses. In summary, the project will make clean energy more affordable (SDG 1 and 7), benefit women and gender equality profoundly (SDG 5), create employment opportunities and stimulate productive use within manufacturing and recycling (SDG 8, 9 and 12), reduce use of fossil fuels and unsustainable biomass (SDG 13).
Sustainability and future plans
Two pilot programmes in collaboration with D-prize and The Pollination Project, identified two main barriers to cookstove adoption in our target markets; unaffordability and inaccessibility. Mukurus cookstove artisans and technicians are currently paid per cookstove produced. Given much of the work is carried out manually with hand tools, output is limited, marginal costs are high and Mukuru cannot afford to employ such personnel full-time without making a significant loss. Investing in larger capital equipment, such as cutting and pressing machines, we increase output per 2 person artisan team from 20 per day to 150, able to bring on more artisans on a full-time basis and reduce cookstove manufacturing cost from $6 to $4.50. We are actively seeking equity or debt investment to scale the business. The investment will facilitate Mukuru meeting its supply obligations of 18,000 households in Kibera by the end of year 2, and at least 20,000 in 2020 under our Cherehani Africa partnership. With anticipated sales of 12,000 units in year 1, revenue will be approximately $120,000. By end of 2021 with unit sales of 35,000 this will rise to $350,000. At the end of year 5 with EEP support and supplementary investment, revenue is anticipated to rise to $2.5m. The major risk for the first 2 years, is that the partners commitment to purchase are not fulfilled, or we are unable to meet the demand. The planned investment mitigates the latter, while building up a wholly owned and managed distribution network will be necessary to reach our sales targets.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am an Eco- entrepreneur who is enthusiastic about science and social studies. I founded Mukuru Clean Stoves, the first woman-owned factory in Siaya County that recycles waste metal to produce improved, reliable and affordable cook stoves targeting under-served markets with the aim of reducing household air pollution. Mukuru employs local youth artisans and technicians to manufacture the cookstoves utilizing recycled material, works with female micro entrepreneurs and retailers in low-income communities, who earn a 10% commission on cookstove sales. We partner with microfinance and credit institutions, whose membership are 95% female, to provide staggered payment options. We are the only entirely female-led; design managed and focused improved cookstove company operating within East Africa. I grew up in Mukuru, one of the biggest slums in Nairobi and became a teenage mom at 16, my daughter suffered a severe burn injury caused by a traditional stove which sparked my interest in providing better cooking technologies. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Science from Kenyatta University. In 2018, I won the World Bank/ UN Women inaugural SDGs and Her award and got a schorlarship to attend the Socap 2018 conference. Accomplishments My cook stoves enterprise has Reached over 4000 households in under-served markets in Kenya. Trained and employed 5 local youth as artisans, 30 sales agents. Educated 2500 mothers on the impacts of pollution and the benefits of clean energy. Successfully completed 2 pilots in Kibera slums and Kamito village.