Mobile Solar Kiosk

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Mobile Solar Kiosk

Kigali, Rwanda
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

The Mobile Solar Kiosk (MSK) is a platform that allow franchisees to sell different type of products and services at the base of the pyramid. our primary service is a build in system to charge small electronic using solar power, but we also sell solar lights, electronic vouchers and more....

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

Please keep your response to 130 characters or less.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Over 40% of the population are unemployed, less than 7% of the population in East Africa has access to electricity but over 60% have a cell phone. Unfortunately the cost of doing business for someone at the base of the pyramid is high.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

ARED developed a mobile solar kiosk (MSK) to empower people through sustainable and affordable business. Franchise business model is something not really develop in East Africa. 80 % of individual that start a traditional business fail there first year, but franchise business model has a much better success rate because the company work in partnership with the franchisee. MSK is a unique platform, most kiosk are stationary, so it requires purchasing or leasing land however, our kiosk is on wheel so it eliminates that challenge and minimize the cost of doing business. ARED works with cooperatives or associations to recruit their franchisees, train them and assist them all the way.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We have MOU with cooperatives; we ask them to selected candidates based on our criteria. After we select and train the franchisee, the franchisee pays a total franchise fee of $1700 that includes training, transport and supply for the kiosk, a jacket, different products and services on the kiosk. We developed a profit sharing agreement with the franchisees but we also earn on branding revenue from sponsors. Franchisees work close to their communities, and at night a franchisee can take his kiosk home with him by connecting to a bicycle or park in somewhere safe.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Social Impact: ARED creates a positive social impact to both franchisees and customers. The franchise model goes beyond creating jobs (which East Africa desperately needs)—it creates entrepreneurs. ARED prefers to teach a man (or woman) to fish, rather than just giving them a fish. Franchisees operate their own small enterprise, and through this learn the ins and outs, ups and downs of business. Why just employ when you can empower? Customers receive an affordable path to reliable energy, enabling them to connect with friends, family, and business contacts out of the range of travel. Mobile technology also allows for the payment of bills and taxes in Rwanda, saving customers a trip to the capital. Environmental impact: ARED uses renewable technology to produce electricity to charge, also the battery system is a lithium phosphate battery which is a recycle battery.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Franchise model is a new model in East Africa. However, in January 2014 we started operating in Burundi. Our goal is to have about 400 MSK Each countries (Burundi and Rwanda) and offer a license fee deal to partners that would like to expand this model to other countries so we can expand much faster and adapt to different market challenges. We starting our expansion plan in 2015 which wil be Nigeria, Ghana and South Sudan. Our vision is to see 50000 smart solar kiosk on the ground in Africa alone.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Sustainability will be achieve when we developed 100 franchisee. ARED’s MSK is the model of scalability: it’s easy to operate, built for urban or rugged rural terrain, and virtually cost-free to operate as a franchisee. A single, simple design means that production, assembly, and shipping are streamlined and expedited. ARED has coordinated production and shipping partnerships to conduct bulk orders and assemble the units in country, reducing ship

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The MSK offers franchisees a low-cost entry to an expanding franchise with great potential for profit. The MSK offers portability, allowing ARED’s franchisees to move their business to where the customers are, on a daily or even hourly basis. For customers, the MSK offers clean, reliable energy at half the cost of competitors. According to Rwanda’s National Institute of Statistics, 30% of households that have a mobile phone are not connected to the electrical grid. ARED bridge this gap while also providing a supplementary source of energy to the other 70%.

Founding Story

The story started in 2009 on a trip in Burundi, on vacation. I had just purchased a smart phone and I was having issues keeping my phone charge so I started carrying my charge with me and everywhere I went I was asking someone if they can plug it in for a few minutes. I realized they must be a better system, so I started researching other system however, all the system in the market are for home usage, meaning they can only charge one or two phones at the time and they bulky so it better to use them at home. But I realized if u need cash what do you do? you go to the ATM so why not have a kiosk where people can charge while in a public place? So I drew the concept on a piece of paper, hired a engineer and the rest is history.


Danny Rumuri designed and built the ARED MSK prototype and will continue to be the lead designer and engineer, improving and upgrading the MSK through the testing phases. With 10 years of experience in the education and non-profit fields, Nellie Vigneron provides long term strategic consulting for ARED and sources public and private investment for the company.
About You
The African Renewable Energy Distributor
About You
First Name


Last Name


LinkedIn URL
About Your Organization
Organization Name

The African Renewable Energy Distributor

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact

, Kigali

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Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)

We based in Rwanda, we just started in Burundi and of course next is the East Africa community and beyond. But will do it has a master franchise model.

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

lack of enough structure in cooperative, so training will be the key.
Lack of support from Government to facilitate our kiosk to operate in cities, (We have lobby aggressively about it)
Not enough staff to handle the different aspect of the company, we are currently seeking some grantand funding.

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

We working hard to develop partnership with telecom companies

Closing the Loop
How does your project primarily ensure that feedback delivers results?

Create an environment where people give feedback freely.

Please elaborate on your answer to the above question.

Feedback will allow us to improve not only on the product but also on the business model. What ARED is trying to achieve is brand new, we are planning to develop a uniform distribution channel at the base of the pyramid. But without feedback, we will not be able to improve and create a better system for ourselves and the franchisees.

Languages: In what languages are you able to read and write fluently?

English, French.

2nd Round Questions
Thinking about your feedback loop; what information are you trying to get from whom, to whom, and to bring about what change?
What is the purpose of your feedback loop?

If other, please specify
What mediums or mechanisms do you use to collect feedback? (check all that apply)

If other, please specify
Could you briefly describe the way you collect the feedback?
What mechanisms are in place to protect people from retribution?

If other, please specify
What are the immediate benefits or incentives for people to provide feedback?

If other, please specify
How do you ensure new and marginalized voices are heard?

If other, please specify
What are the incentives for the intended recipient to act on the feedback?

If other, please specify
How does the feedback mechanism close the loop with those who provided feedback in the first place?

If other, please specify
How is feedback published/transparent?

If other, please specify
Give two concrete examples of how feedback loops have brought a program or policy more in line with citizens’ desires.
If there was one thing you could change to increase the impact of your feedback loop, what would it be?
What are your biggest challenges or barriers in “closing the feedback loop”?

If other, please specify
Are you aware of The Feedback Store?

What are the main uses you can envision for the Feedback Store?
What is the one thing you would most like to see changed to improve the competition process?
What are you doing to make sure that feedback providers know that they are empowered by the information they can give and that they know exactly what the information they are providing?