Acumen, the nonprofit social venture fund, announces its new investment in Green Energy & BioFuels (GEB), a Nigerian company creating cleaner, more cost-effective cooking solutions for West Africa’s low-income households. In Nigeria, more than 40 percent of urban households and a staggering 92 percent of rural households still depend on biomass for their cooking, contributing to the roughly 1.5 million deaths worldwide caused each year from indoor air pollution. Green Energy & BioFuels presents low-income households with an opportunity to generate extra savings while improving their health and conserving the environment.
“We are excited to be supporting Femi Oye (our second indigenous entrepreneur in Nigeria), to scale up the production of gel to meet the growing demand for this critically needed cleaner and cheaper alternative cooking fuel for the rural and urban poor. Despite their vulnerabilities, it is sad to see the rural and urban poor spend a huge chunk of their incomes on inefficient and dirty fuels for their cooking needs” – Godfrey Mwindaare, Director, Acumen.
Green Energy & BioFuels manufactures and distributes an innovative, smoke-free cook stove that utilizes an environmentally friendly fuel gel. The Bio gel, developed from cellulosic ethanol made from Water Hyacinth and sawdust is safer, cleaner and cheaper than kerosene and burns more efficiently, giving families not only a safer cooking environment but also 40 percent in savings. In addition, the company’s highly efficient stove and fuel cut the time women and children spend collecting firewood, freeing them up so they can dedicate more time to education and income generation.
To date, Green Energy & BioFuels has already sold more than 400,000 cook stoves, impacting the lives of more than Three million people. Acumen’s investment of $800,000 in equity will help the company to provide management support services, build its technical assistance and ramp up its production to meet the demands of its growing customer base.
“We Started with a mission to Build Africa’s foremost Waste to Energy Enterprise with the gut to challenge the status quo and redefine why Clean Energy must be Accessible, Available and Free, We are happy to have Acumenas Friend. Today we are not just receiving an investment but Acumen is also bringing Love and Support into our Business. We welcome on board a Partner that will help stimulate and accelerate Green Energy & Biofuels (GEB) to becoming a Social Enterprise that delivers innovation, prosperity and new Energy for the future’’ -FemiOye, CEO, Green Energy & Biofuels
Since 2011, Acumen has invested over $6 million in West Africa. The organization has five active investments in sustainable, scalable businesses delivering affordable products and services to both rural and urban low-income communities. Acumen’s recent investments in the region include Esoko, a technology platform that connects African smallholder farmers to markets via mobile phones and PagaTech, an innovative financial services platform that enables low-income customers to manage their money using mobile technology.