Not only the technology, but rather the approach of (B)energy proves that a smart business model implemented by local entrepreneurs is much more effective than aid projects funded by Western donors.
Cooking in Africa is expensive! But it is not the food, but rather the energy for cooking that has become a major household expense, especially in rural areas.
Biogas can replace firewood and charcoal, especially in Africa where the conditions for biogas production are perfect: warm climate, availability of organic material and a yet to be developed energy infrastructure, which is, once in place, very difficult to change.
Biogas, a flammable gas produced from animal manure, kitchen waste or any organic waste, is probably the cleanest and most sustainable cooking energy with additional benefits. A biogas digester also produces a valuable organic fertilizer that can be used directly in the garden or composted.
However, biogas has not taken off in Africa, why? One major reason can be found in the approach: the technology has been introduced mainly by aid organizations through donor funded programs and projects – without including a functioning business model. Katrin Puetz, founder and managing director of (B)energy realized this more than 10 years ago.
Based on this she developed (B)energy’s mobile biogas technology in combination with a flexible business model.
(B)energy’s business model reflects the understanding of development aid as a system error that needs to be stopped. Katrin and her partners work towards creating a large scale example of how to solve problems 100% free of aid, which requires a smart and honest business model that is based on collaboration and independence.
Interested business partners participate in a biogas business training and start with importing a number of systems. Once the new importer has started to make the biogas systems available on the market in her/his country, independent installers can join.
For those interested joining the biogas-sector, (B)energy in cooperation with the African Energy Chamber will be hosting a webinar on December 10th at 12:00 SAST on the opportunities and possibilities of joining the biogas sector.
The webinar for interested business partners will open with a keynote speech by Verner Ayukegba, Senior Vice President of the African Energy Chamber. With his many years of experience in the African energy sector, he will give an input on the potential of entering the biogas market. Afterwards Katrin Puetz, will present the aid free business model in more detail and will be available for questions during a Q&A.
“It is an important step to help Africa create jobs by its own efforts, but also to strengthen the infrastructure in rural areas. ” said Ayukegba.
Through an online training and the (B)app, a mobile app, installers are trained and guided in setting up their own installer venture. They are also the ones who promote the technology in their surroundings.
Their customers, this means the biogas producer and owner of the biogas systems, can become entrepreneurs as well. While producing biogas from organic waste and animal manure they are introduced to the idea of selling biogas to their neighbors in the biogas backpack.
With just the biogas backpack and the modular biogas burner, neighboring households can comfortably replace their cooking fuel with biogas.
“The Business Model of (B)energy is an innovative approach to empowering every African. The African Energy Chamber is proud to support such initiatives and is looking forward to a long-term partnership with Katrin and her team.”, so Ayukegba.
If you are interested to join the movement of companies that work 100% aid free or are interested to start your own biogas business with (B)energy, you can register free of charge for the webinar on December 10 at 12:00 SAST under the following link – https://t1p.de/ulc6.
African Eye Report