Partner Spotlight: Equity Group Foundation
Christine Wambui is a Kenyan mother of three, a small business owner, and a proud retailer of efficient cookstoves for her community.
Christine learned about efficient cookstoves through a recent visit by an Energy Officer from the Equity Group Foundation, a non-profit working on social and economic issues in Africa. For two weeks she tested the stove at her home.
“I used to worry about my youngest breathing in the smoke from my cooking,” Christine says. “Now the smoke is gone.”
After her two-week trial, Christine was convinced that she could sell the cookstoves from her shop. In her first month, she sold 26 stoves and increased her shop’s monthly profits by 60%.
The Equity Group Foundation, through its Energy and Environmental Pillar, is working to raise awareness and increase education about the benefits of efficient stoves to Equity Bank’s customer base of 9 million Kenyan households. Equity partnered with the social enterprise, Micro Energy Credits in 2014 to design and pilot a clean energy consumer lending program. After performing market research, the team decided to launch the Eco Moto Clean Energy Loan. The Eco Moto loan is a one page application that is quick and easy for bank customers to complete and just as easy for bank staff to process. The Eco Moto loan is available to any Equity customer in good standing and can be repaid in 3, 6, or 12 month installments.
Through the Eco Moto pilot, Equity and Micro Energy Credits were able to empower over 6,000 customers to purchase a modern efficient stove. As the program scales, the Equity Group Foundation will play a key role in extolling the benefits of a smoke-free home and has committed to reaching 1 million households with clean energy over the next three years.
The Equity Group Foundation values its partnership with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and has specifically benefitted from the Alliance’s comprehensive stove catalog. The Equity Group Foundation looks forward to further future collaboration with the Alliance to change the energy landscape in Kenya.