USAID and Winrock International award for distribution of clean cookstoves

BURN Manufacturing today announces the receipt of an award from USAID and Winrock International to improve distribution of clean-burning cookstoves in Kenya. The award is one of three grants awarded by USAID and Winrock to organizations in Kenya with the goal of overcoming significant market barriers that deny access to highly-sought after clean cooking technology for millions of Kenyans. The main activity under this award, matched by a commitment from the Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust (MESPT), will be the creation of a revolving fund to offer credit to cookstove distributors, while the remainder will be used to implement a number of innovations in product distribution and data collection.

The revolving fund will allow small and medium-sized distributors in urban and rural Kenya to purchase stoves from manufacturers on short-term credit, something which is not generally available from banks and conventional financial institutions in Kenya due to perceived risk. The fund will finance wholesale stove orders from BURN Manufacturing Kenya as well as peer organizations BioLite, African Clean Energy and Instove. BURN’s distributors predict that access to credit will allow them to increase stove sales by 134,000 units in the next two years alone.

The grant also includes funds to kick-start several non-traditional distribution methods. BURN will partner with energy giant Total S.A. to retail BURN stoves in gas stations and with mobile sales representatives. By expanding an existing partnership with mobile technology firm Echo Mobile, BURN will be able to switch to Echo’s user-friendly text message based system for customer feedback and product registration. BURN will also develop a new Materials Requirement Planning system to improve supply-chain efficiency and oversight.

BURN Manufacturing Company is a social enterprise with the goal of producing 3.5 million fuel-efficient, life-saving cookstoves in East Africa by 2023. With this contribution by USAID, Winrock and MESPT, BURN is one step closer to realizing the goal of bringing millions of life-saving stoves to families in East Africa.

For more information: USAID press release

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