Clean water and energy by crowdfunding

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Clean water and energy by crowdfunding: Reliable water access through micro-payment

Enschede, NetherlandsGhana
Year Founded:
2012
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Allow entrepreneurs to install clean water and energy solutions supported by crowd-funding; resulting in an income for the entrepreneur.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Clean water and electricity is difficult to acquire for people living in developing countries. Also it is difficult for entrepreneurs to find funding for smart business models around these technologies.

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

Combine existing structures of sustainable water and energy hardware with existing micro-finance institutions connected to funding platforms like Kiva.org. This should than be provided in a simple to understand "InfraBox" to entrepreneurs living in a developing country. As a result the entrepreneurs community will get affordable clean water and energy, and the entrepreneur earns an income.
Impact: How does it Work

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

A water, energy or goods distribution point is installed in a community. Community members buy a D-wallet with start credits. Community members pay for these products with virtual credits. once they run out of credits the community members buy new credits at a kiosk in exchange for real cash money. the cash that is collected with Custeq technology can be used to provide maintenance, WASH projects, insurance or serve other community goals.
Sustainability

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

Many organizations are trying to provide clean water and energy to people in developing countries. Organizations that provide these technologies for free are the main threat to the income of entrepreneurs. Kiva already offers "green loans" (which have a similar vision as my plan) on their site however there is an extremely high demand and low offering of these loans.
About You
Organization:
Pangea, InfraBox
Background Information
First Name

Marten

Last Name

Susebeek

The competition is only open to people between 18-34 years-old and resident in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands. Does this apply to you

Yes.

Country of residence of entrepreneur

The Netherlands

Tell us about your personal background. Why are you passionate about this issue? Making an idea a reality takes innovation, dedication and strong leadership. Do you have the necessary entrepreneurial skills to realize your vision?

Bachelor in mechanical engineering, master business administration. Recently graduated on solar powered lamps that Philips is selling in developing countries. For my graduation I went two months to Ghana where I saw the challenges people with low income are facing to gather clean water and electricity.
Here I also became enthusiastic about the optimistic entrepreneurs, solar power and crowdfunding platforms like Kiva. My vision is to combine sustainable water and energy technologies with crowd-funding business models. This should be provided in a simple understandable manner to entrepreneurs in developing countries.

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Pangea, InfraBox

Organization Country

, OV, Enschede

Country where this project is creating social impact

, XX

Innovation
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities

The Pangea Infrabox provides affordable clean water and energy for communities in developing countries. The business model should 1) create awareness at local entrepreneurs, 2) facilitate project financing 3) implement hardware, and 4) reduce the problem of unaffordable water and energy, and provide an income for local entrepreneurs. The next page provides explanation and examples of terms used in this summary (a graphical representation is found in the picture InfraBox.jpg). Pangea InfraBox works as follows:
Step 1, Problem + Awareness: in developing countries many communities lack access to safe drinking water and affordable energy. Also generating an income is difficult for local entrepreneurs. Local entrepreneurs are informed by agents that these problems are solvable with Pangea InfraBox.
Step 2, Down-payment + crowd-funding: In exchange for a down-payment by the local entrepreneur the proposal for community improvement is put on-line at a crowd-funding platform.
Step 3, Hardware delivery + support: When a project is funded by crowd-funding, the water purification- or energy unit is paid. This hardware is delivered to the local entrepreneur who receives instructions how to install, use and and maintain it. Furthermore the local entrepreneur gets access to support via phone, SMS, and/or internet community.
Step 4, Community benefits + income entrepreneur: After installation of the water purification- of energy hardware the communities living conditions should improve. Also the local entrepreneur starts generating an income and is able to pay back the crowd-funding loan with payments of the community.

My input is to start this model on a small scale, convince a hardware provider of the benefits for such a model, and scale up once this model has been proven to be successful.

Select the stage that best applies to your business

Operating for less than a year

Social Impact
What is the social impact you have had to date and how you measure it?

Contribute to millenium goals, by providing clean drinkable water and reduce need for unsustainable energy sources. Created new insights to entrepreneurs and micro finance institutions in Ghana regarding smart business models and solar energy systems. This can be measured by the number of people that benefit from the water and energy solutions provided.

What barriers might hinder the success of your business? How do you plan to overcome them?

Difficulties in finding committed hardware suppliers, micro finance agencies en entrepreneurs. That are also willing to invest in my company's growth.
This should be overcome by proving that my business model works (on a small scale). After the involved parties are convinced this business model can be expended to other technologies and/or countries.
This will be overcome by asking entrepreneurs to make a downpayment, and by charging a fee for training that is provided to entrepreneurs. Also a margin will be asked from hardware providers for facilitating hardware sales through InfraBox.

Sustainability
How does your model address financial, social, and environmental sustainability?

Financial: by providing the local entrepreneur with an income.
Social: by training the entrepreneur and making this person feel important.
Environmental: by reducing need for fuel-based polluting energy solutions. By improving health of communities in developing countries through clean drinking water and (solar-) energy.

Awareness & learning
How do you see social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries?

Social entrepreneurship improves developing countries because it improves the lives of those who needs it the most; in a commercial way while also considering their environment.

What aspects of your stay in Uganda as part of the competition do you think you will find most challenging and rewarding?

I look forward to my stay in Uganda because it will confront me with new challenges in connecting sustainable agricultural technologies with crowd finance mechanisms. Most rewarding would be to involve local parties in my plan and create mutually benefitial situation.