Acumen, the nonprofit social venture fund, has announced 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 by 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 support Femi Oye, our second Nigerian entrepreneur, to scale up Green Energy Biofuels and meet the growing demand for this critically needed cleaner and cheaper alternative cooking fuel for Nigeria’s low-income communities,” said Mr. Godfrey Mwindaare, Acumen’s West Africa Director. “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.”
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,” said Mr. Femi Oye, CEO of Green Energy BioFuels. “We are happy to have Acumen as a friend. Today we are not only 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 GEB to becoming a social enterprise that delivers innovation, prosperity and new energy for the future.’’