Mashesha stoves - As a Business Opportunity
Demand is created for a business spin-off for agents to sell or rent out stoves across many communities. Both the selling and renting models automatically include skills development as training is needed for the value chain.
Our business model for society (triple bottom line) is a product that builds social and as monetary capital which reduces burdens on women (and, if expanded to communities, the girl- child)
The innovation won the African Energy awards for innovation in 2015. Our own audits (2014-2016) have indicated a minimum of 56 % fuel load saving. This has a direct impact on reduced smoke emissions. Without the innovation, women that use wood fuel in their kitchens are forced to endure the unpleasant working conditions.
The Mashesha stove is an efficient alternative for schools. 6 Educators in rural communities, one rural school, Sappi Forests, York Timbers and White River Rotary have purchased stoves for their Corporate Social Investments. We have also created a trial spin-off for one rural group.
The novel concept was designed by the Director/Owner of SP. Proof of concept has been delivered through the advanced process of intellectual property registration with CIPC and through the independent African-wide Award. Viable production, made- to -order, is secured through an existing medium enterprise.
Rural uptake has been safely demonstrated through a formative evaluated pilot and through modest market penetration which happened through word-of-mouth sales and through CSI uptake in Mpumalanga. A pilot spin-off has been established at a women-owned co-operative. The enterprise has a sustainable infrastructure to easily upscale for the increased market share which would be assisted by additional investment.
Women Cooks’ quality of work life improved:
The stove will enable the cooks to work in a healthier enviromentthat encourages labour-saving. In the community, the stove saves 60% labour (wood not gathered and/or chopped).
Efficient, cleaner energy in communities-minimal environmental impact:
Our own audits have shown a 56% energy saving, 90% cost saving: use of supplemental materials as opposed to using wood.
Enable rural women/schools to rent or share benefits of stoves, demand created; further commissioned agents
We would purchase a delivery truck and contract professional proposal writer/s for the CSI applications. To create increased use and demand, we would use the CSI model of donations to selected schools/women’s groups until the business model gains traction and agents take up employment opportunities.
Marketing and skills transfer interventions are critical for us to ‘train the trainer’, drawing on unemployed women to conduct demonstrations in communities and learn business skills, in a combined model, together with the Service Provider itself which needs additional business skills.
Mashesha stoves - A Social & Energy efficient innovation for Rural communities
Yet the idealised picture of the ‘cooking pot’ comes at the cost of many hours of unpaid labour for rural women who work with unsafe fires in confined, polluted kitchens (for which no statistics or minimum health standards exist) in order to feed 9 million primary school learners in South Africa (the selected sample for this case). An extrapolation of this figure, for the purposes of this proposal (halving the 9 million and estimating 3 cooks per school), has 34 500 rural women whose health is compromised (and time is wastefully depleted to achieve nutrition for children’s survival and learning.)
Added to this, the supply chain to bring the wood to schools has wider environmental implications. There is the obvious deforestation, global warming and climate change accelerated through carbon-burning fuels. There is the cost of transporting the wood to schools and the use of school budgets for fuel, which fruitfully can be diverted into direct educational resources.
Employment of people at provincial or rural levels is increased through the production of the stove through two respective medium and microenterprises. More importantly, there is the commission model which allows rural communities to buy the stoves and set up their own micro businesses in a diversified business model. It is self -evident that this original invention and applied business model comprehensively meets all the criteria for social innovation.
- the product specification itself;
- the business model (starting with a corporate social responsibility to stimulate demand for commissioned sales to set up micro enterprises) and the applied labour, health and environmental social innovation.
2012 ETA awards: Winner of the Energy savings in the household’s category
2015 African Energy Awards: Winner of the Innovation Category
2015 Envirologic awards: Recycling Category: A Merit award
2017 Top 50 Entrepreneur Award: African Entrepreneurship Awards
SDG 5: Gender Equality,
SDG 7: Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all and
Goal 13: Facilitates action to combat climate change and its impacts.
While these are large and ambitious goals for the globe, the SDGs will only be achieved through local mobilization and social innovations which incrementally build the national achievements for the global SDGs. Therefore in the local domain, the innovative design of our cook stove harnesses gasification principles built on environmental and health effectiveness and efficiency principles; allows for waste cardboard/paper to be used so that people, including those with disabilities, may make 'paper coal' which provides supplement fuel; reduces fuel load demand, and ensures a clean burn-high heat flame. The safe labour-saving design eases the gender burden in relation to daily workload & decent work in rural areas.
According to Stats South Africa, there are more than 9 Million learners in 23 000 schools relying on feeding schemes. Mpumalanga alone has more than 1125 schools relying on wood fuel to cook for learners, not to mention more than 3375 households within this scope relying on wood fuel to meet their daily energy requirements.
The extent of the social need extrapolated to South Africa would mean that millions of families (estimated at 1 million households) and thousands of schools/communities would have an energy efficient, fuel- and time- saving, health-promoting and gender-conscious stove for South African rural communities.
- a fabrication workshop, the setting up of the supply chain,
- training for a wider group on making supplement fuel.
- The proposed budget allows for 60 Masheshas to be donated to the target groups.
- Value addition is the complementary training on the value chain of the stove.