Kenyan Women In Clean Energy Embrace Crowdfunding.
by Irene Nandi in Fundraiser stories
In a country where only 63 percent of households are connected to the national electricity grid,women are overwhelmingly responsible for collecting and using emerging markets for safer, cheaper and greener renewable energy sources. It is however saddening that women’s participation in the green energy sector is so low, there is no official data on their numbers.
Mazingira Safi Initiative (MSI), a briquette making initiative, launched their business in 2013. Briquettes are compressed blocks that are a source of clean energy- burning hotter and emitting less carbon than fossil fuels. Their manufacturing work became hard due to the manual machines they used. In 2016 however the demand for briquettes had grown so high the manual machine could not keep up.
Oyesa Oluchina, co-founder of MSI, joined Women Integration into Renewable Energy for a two year operation by international non profit Energy for Impact(E4I) in order to grow their business. To find much needed funding for the women-led enterprises in the program, E4I partnered with M-Changa, a crowdfunding platform, and launched a series of campaigns to raise directly from the public.
Through the M-Changa platform the Mazingira Safi Briquettes campaign was able to raise Ksh. 57,435 through their 21 supporters. This would help them purchase an electric briquette making machine that would help increase their production from 50kgs of briquettes to 200kgs per day.