Bonergie Solar Energy with micro credits - A Social Business for people in poverty

Bonergie Solar Energy with micro credits - A Social Business for people in poverty

Senegal
Organization type: 
for profit
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We support people in poverty. In order to reach out of poverty we think it is necessary to have access to energy. We provide Solar energy to pour people in rurals areas in West Africa. Small Solar Home Systems can be financed with micro credits. They bring light but also the possibility to run small electrical appliances to start a little business.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Senegal as well as other countries in West Africa or so called Sub-Sahara belong to the poorest countries in the world. In Senegal, where we have started our Social Busines bonergie 68 % of the population have less then 2 Dollars per day. Especially the rural regions are very under developed. Access to energy is a huge problem. Only the area around Dakar or some smaller cities have power, but the rural areas will probably get no access to power within the next 20 years. A development without energy and technology is very difficult. Thats why we address this problem with Solar Energy with the help of micro credits.
About You
Organization:
Bonergie
Section 1: You
First Name

Gabriele

Last Name

Schwarz

Organization

Bonergie

Country
Section 2: Your Organization
Organization Name

Bonergie

Organization Phone

0049 89 21777912

Organization Address

Pfarrstr. 14, 80538 Munich

Organization Country
Your idea
Country and state your work focuses on

, TA

Innovation
What makes your idea unique?

We help people out of poverty with an entrepreneurial approach. Bonergie is a Social business, which has the purpose to solve a social problem, but not with charity and donors but with the entrepreneurial energy and innovation. We offer a range of solar energy products for light, small electric appliance, solar pumps etc. We give a choice and in providing micro credits also the possibility to fincne these solutions. Having access to energy these people can now start a little business and reach out of poverty themselves. We also reduce CO2 in replacing poisenous and dangerous kerosin and petroleum lamps.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
What impact have you had?

We have started our project in Senegal in the province Tambacounda in Goudiri, a small city close to Mali. Around Goudiri are 72 little villages with 300-400 inhabitants each. We have employed the first senegalesian employee. The first 20 Solar systems have been installed on a micro credit basis. One of the 72 villages have now in several huts light. Every four weeks our employee is travelling to Goudiri (10 hirs by car), collect the credits, check the systems, try to get new customers and help starting little income generating businesses. We have also checked into Solar energy pumps, which we might offer in the near future. Water is available, but in very deep ponds.

Actions

We have started a Social Business to address this problem. We find the combination of social entrepreneurship to solve a social problem ideal. Governments and NGO can not solve these huge problem alone. Social businesses can help a lot if they focus on solving a social problem - in our case, poverty and not in maximizing personal profits. We are building up an organisation in Senegal already. We have our first employee and our pilot project in some little villages around Goudiri in the province of Tambacounda, 10 hours driving from Dakar has started. We have alrady 20 customers for our small Solar Home Systems. Our employee is travelling every 4 weeks to this region, collect the redits, look at the systems and helping people to start their own little revenue generating projects, now that they have access to energy.

Results

We will continue step by step incrasing our customer base and reduce therefor the poverty in this region. We will extend our organization into other regions in Senegal and also other countries in West Africa. We will build up a Solar energy training center for our employees and a service organization to ensure hundred percent availablity of the systems

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

Customer orientation. Even if people are poor does not mean they don't know what they would need to develop. To listen to their needs and help them in their own development and not force them into an development which we think is good for them.
Choice - Not only one solution but several to fulfill different needs.
Micro credits - The systems can be bought with small, affordable monthly rates. After 12 to 24 months the Solar systems belong to them and our customer save a lot of money on energy costs.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

In the moment I can't think of any problem that could prevent us to be successful. A lack of sufficient financing only makes the success slow but will not stop it.

How many people will your project serve annually?

1001‐10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

In what country?

, TA

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

If yes, provide organization name.
How long has this organization been operating?

Less than a year

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

No

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

No

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

No

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Approximately 150 words left (1200 characters).

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

Selection of the right tchnology
Continuity, small but steady steps.
Visibility in the regions, where we started

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

I am since 25 years an entrepreneur mainly in the area of IT industry, but I was always interested in solving social problems. When I came across the book from Mohamad Yunus with micro credits in Bangladesh and the subject Social Business it was clear for me from one second of the next that combining my talent of being an entrepreneur while solving a social problem like poverty is the ideal combination and can have a big impact on the society and economy.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

400 words or fewer

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

50 words or fewer