Category: Energy

M-KOPA Solar hits 60,000 users in Kenya

Established in 2011 to end the dependency on kerosene lamps and fuel in Kenya, M-KOPA Solar, an innovative asset financing company that sells solar home systems to off grid households, on an affordable 12-month mobile money payment plan via Safaricom’s M-Pesa, has announced that it has hit over 60 000 users countrywide. The firm said […]

d.light leaders named Social Entrepreneurs of Year

We are thrilled for our portfolio company d.light and Donn Tice, Chairman and CEO, along with cofounders Ned Tozun, President, and Sam Goldman, Chief Customer Officer, for being named Social Entrepreneurs of the year 2014 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. d.light is a for-profit social enterprise that manufactures and distributes solar lighting and power products with primary […]

The post d.light Leaders Named 2014 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year appeared first on Acumen.

Social entrepreneurs flourish in Africa

  As perhaps the first-ever conference of social entrepreneurs in Africa, the Sankalp East Africa conference in Nairobi in February did not disappoint. The conference, organized by Intellecap, a leading Indian company in social enterprise, featured twelve entrepreneurs from Africa…

UpEnergy gets investment for clean energy

UpEnergy, the Ugandan clean energy company and Unreasonable Institute alumni, has closed an equity investment deal, and is now raising US$1-million more in debt. We had a chance to catch up with UpEnergy co-founder Erik Wurster to chat about the fundin…

Engineering Solutions on ‘Demand’

  The sisal decorticator strips off the husk from the sisal leaf to expose the fibrous strands within. This simple machine can greatly increase farmers’ profits in Kenya. It’s one of the engineering stories showcased in DEMAND. (Photo courtesy of…

Changing Customer Behavior: A Last Mile Issue

Some weeks before the Christmas of 2012, I spent almost three hours with a d.light design team coming up with volume projections for the number of solar lamps we hope to sell in Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, in 2013.
We factored in and questioned several assumptions here and there. We took a second look at[…..]

The Best and the Brightest

Since its inception a few years ago, the Unreasonable Institute has diligently encouraged ground-breaking and even disruptive business models as a means of finding solutions to poverty around the globe. With its ‘class of 2013,’ UI has learned from its…

Dignity, Not Dependence, While Living Under $1 a Day

2013-02-19-Teresiaandgrandson.jpgEditor’s note: this post originally appeared on Huffington Post Impact.
Her name is Teresia and she is full of life. She hails from Central Kenya, an area rich in agriculture where many still scratch out a living from the land itself. Nearly. Teresia, her daughter and her grandson together live on about $1 a day, earned[…..]