Imagine that when you cook a meal, your only means of doing so is by lighting an open fire inside your kitchen. Thick plumes of black smoke fill the room where you and your family cook and eat every evening. Since this is your only means of cooking, you pay significant amounts every year to buy the fuel for it.
This is the reality for a staggering number of people. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 90% of the population relies on firewood and charcoal as a primary source of energy. With increasing urbanisation and a population that is set to double by 2050, the number of people using these methods in Sub-Saharan Africa alone will rise. The practice is damaging to lives, livelihoods and the planet. The toxic fumes are a health hazard; the costs are high compared to earnings; and large concentrations of greenhouse gases are released, contributing to global heating.
These are the problems that Peter Scott set out to solve when he founded BURN Manufacturing in 2011, a Kenya-based cookstove-manufacturing social business. The mission of the social business is to produce highly efficient biomass cookstoves that significantly reduce the negative health and environmental impact of wood- and charcoal-burning, while reducing the costs for the customers.
By investing heavily in local research and development, BURN has managed to create a product which is a market leader in terms of fuel efficiency, smoke reduction and durability. With ambitions to make Kenya the leader in Africa for highly efficient cookstoves, its 55% female, 400-strong workforce produces one cookstove every 14 seconds.
The team at BURN are revolutionising the cookstove sector across Sub-Saharan Africa, but to achieve its mission, BURN has needed to access to capital and business support. This is how Peter Scott came across Yunus Social Business, which since 2019 has provided these two vital ingredients to fuel BURN’s successful social impact.
CEO and Founder Peter Scott said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Yunus Social Business. Not only has it provided critical working capital for raw material purchases, but it's also connected us to an amazing network of local investors and distributors.” BURN has seen considerable growth in the last year, which, Mr Scott says, “would not have been possible without Yunus Social Business funds.”
Since gaining support from Yunus Social Business, BURN has been able to impact 2 million lives in the last year alone with better air quality and reduced expenses. In total, BURN has generated 297 million USD in household savings for families and averted 6 million tonnes of emissions through sales of its highly efficient cookstoves.
Check out our new video telling the stories of rural farmers! They provide higher incomes and safe jobs for rural farmers in Colombia. They work in areas affected by armed conflict growing baby vegetables and edible flowers. 🌱 🌿 🥕🌷 🌹
On 24 March this year, day-to-day business for a vast number of Indian organisations stopped abruptly. With a complete nationwide lockdown, any operations requiring physical attendance had to shut down overnight. Here’s how we helped one of the Indian social businesses in our portfolio to overcome the combined economic and health crises of COVID-19.
A social business needs to deliver results in three core areas; social impact, financial sustainability, and organisational resilience. But in order to mature in these areas businesses need more than just capital; they also require non-financial support, training and access to networks.
Are you a social intrapreneur? Do you transform the way companies think about business? At Yunus Social Business we want to better understand the key challenges and success factors social intrapreneurs are facing. Our work maps out the emerging sector of intrapreneurship in collaboration with leading academic institutions and practitioners.
The MAN Impact Accelerator #2 isn’t quite over yet and now is your chance to celebrate the journey and the closing of another successful batch.
This month we have completed the second program week of our third accelerator cycle in São Paulo focusing on customer development and impact. We were particularly excited to expand to an entirely new continent and increasing our global exposure by including more diversity in stops.