Bidhaa Sasa, a company based in Nairobi, Kenya, has just secured a loan of US$500,000 from Spark+ Africa Fund. This funding will enable the deployment of clean cooking kits in rural areas.
Good news for Bidhaa Sasa. The Kenya-based company has just secured a $500,000 loan from Spark+ Africa Fund. This recently launched investment fund is dedicated to financing clean cooking in Africa. Bidhaa Sasa, on the other hand, is getting a loan repayable over 2.5 years and offers a diverse range of products, including improved cookstoves, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders, water tanks, tarpaulins for drying grain, bags for transporting agricultural products, grain silos and solar lighting systems.
The recently secured loan will enable the company to distribute improved stoves to approximately 68,000 households over the next two years. In Kenya, Bidhaa Sasa works in remote areas in partnership with US-based BioLite, which provides access to electricity and clean cooking solutions.
A unique financing model
The $500,000 loan will be used to purchase inventory from BioLite. These eco-friendly stoves co-branded with JikoMalkia will be distributed using a different financing model than the pay-as-you-go system widely used by solar home system providers. Specifically, it is a “woman-to-woman distribution model and a group guarantee-based lending approach, eliminating the need to integrate consumer payment technology or high-cost credit underwriting processes for customers,” says Spark+.
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According to Spark+, financing Bidhaa Sasa’s operations is in line with its mission to increase access to clean cooking in Africa. According to the World Bank, 900 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack clean, modern energy for cooking. A situation that promotes deforestation and leads to the loss of 35 billion dollars a year in spending on wood, charcoal and paraffin.
For the record, Spark+ Africa Fund is an initiative of Spark+ General Partner, a Swiss-based company, and the SMC Foundation, based in the Netherlands. The fund is managed by Woodman Asset Management. The funding mechanism is supported by a number of financial institutions, including the African Development Bank (AfDB), the US Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO).
Jean Marie Takouleu