August 17

Kenya: This Entrepreneur’s Business Manufactures an Alternative to Firewood

It is early morning in Nairobi and there’s a chill in the air as smoke drifts up from an eatery perched between a busy street and a stone boundary wall. Inside the eatery, a woman hawks tea and the local breakfast speciality, a spicy, doughnut-like wedge called a mandazi, to patrons who duck in and out from the street. From several floors above, in a modern, beautifully turned-out apartment, Chebet Lesan eyes the woman below.

Lesan is standing on the balcony of her apartment, deep in conversation on her mobile phone. The call is important. Chebet needs to keep tabs on deliveries to and from the factory she runs. Inside her kitchen, a coffee machine whispers and an intoxicating aroma fills the room. Lesan doesn’t notice. She has other matters on her mind.

“Please remind me, today we must introduce our briquettes to this kibanda (food booth) lady. The smoke will ruin her,” she says, looking down at the street.

Lesan is the founder of BrightGreen Renewable Energy Limited. The company produces fuel briquettes from upcycled farm waste, or biomass. The briquettes provide an alternative source of clean-burning energy to firewood and charcoal. The innovative fuel briquettes are affordable, sustainable, long-lasting and eco-friendly.

Photo courtesy of Mbishapoa.

Source: How We Made it in Africa (link opens in a new window)

circular economy, climate change, women entrepreneurs