Entrepreneurs Sanivation, Hydroponics and Trace, all based in Kenya, recently received funding for their business pilots. The entrepreneurs participated in the recently finished VIA Water Innovation Challenge managed by Africa Funded. Africa Funded visited the entrepreneurs on site and continues to support them during the pilots to validate and fine-tune their business models.
Sanivation creates renewable energy out of human and organic waste, sanitizing human waste. The company installs container-based toilets inside people's homes for free, and charge a monthly subscription for waste collection, transforming collected waste into charcoal briquettes. Sanivation recently secured funding for their pilot. Africa Funded supported Sanivation in developing a service model providing their services to landlords and rose farms, providing scaling opportunities for safe sanitation service access in Africa. Currently there is more demand by BBQ restaurants for their charcoal, as it burns longer and has less smoke than traditional charcoal. Africa Funded continues to support the company towards follow on funding.
Promoting low cost and sustainable farming without soil, Hydroponics increases access to safely grown food and increases production. Supporting people to build their own low cost, locally sourced hydroponic units, their business model focuses on fertilizer sales. Hydroponics installed 567 hydroponics units and trained over 5,000 people on hydroponics since 2012. Now designing vertical farming for slums to provide nutritious meals and income generation for the poor. Founder Peter Chege is a chemist. Africa Funded supports the team in marketing and strategy.
Providing waste collection services, Trace matches solid waste problem in Kenya with demand for construction materials and reduces water pollution issues. Trace recently secured funding. “Saskia is a spot on business adviser,” says Trace founder Kevin Mureithi. “She exceeded our expectations by not only offering critical business tips but also connecting us to a vast network of partners and successful entrepreneurs who we keep learning from.”