Electricity changes the lives of African communities
Sandra Boni, a full-time MBA student at TIAS School for Business and Society, interviewed the CEO of sustainable enterprise Kudura for a study project. Kudura makes it possible for rural areas in Africa to have access to electricity and clean water. Which impact does Kudura have on these communities?
The story of Kudura began in Kenya in 2010. Vendeirinho recalls they were ‘naively lacking real on the ground data’ but had ‘immense belief in the notion of changing rural lives forever’. The first pilot was in Sidonge, West Kenya, in 2011. The night when they put the light on for the first time, recounts Vendeirinho, was ‘an awesomely enlightening experience, watching and dancing with people that grew up rurally with little hope of getting access to power, but there we were – lights on!’ After Kenya, Kudura expanded the pilot to Tanzania and Uganda.
How did Vendeirinho, originally an engineer, have the idea for this business? ‘It came from the realisation that rural families spend a large portion of their income on inefficient energy sources. The kerosene and the candles that they use are not only non-sustainable but also dangerous. Next to that, Vendeirinho is interested in sustainable and renewable energy.’ Furthermore he was born in Africa: ‘I feel a particulalarly close connection with the continent and contributing to solving its problems.’
Kudura – a Swahili word that means ‘the power to change’ – is a safe and reliable solution that is weather-resistant and designed and built to last over twenty years. It’s an integrated, containerised solution that mainly generates energy from solar and biomass. Next to that, the system involves water purification technology and biogas for cooking.
The electricity and water is sold on an affordable pay-as-you-go (PAYG) basis, which means that you only pay for the energy and water you actually use.
Kudura has a proven impact on communities. The solution enables families to raise their income by 50 to 75 percent. Above that, the clean water improves people's health. Thanks to the savings they make, families are able to send their girls to school, leading to increased inclusion of girls in education. Vendeirinho wants to scale up the company for the whole of Africa. The idea is to install the energy technology on ten new sites in 2018. Kudura's ambition is to be on 150 sites in 2022, to connect with 120,000 people.
TIAS MBA students interview sustainable entrepreneurs for AIM2Flourish
The interview of the South African TIAS MBA student Sandra Boni with CEO Vivian Vendeirinho about his company Kudura is part of a study project in which business and society perfectly come together. The students who participate in the study project have to get in touch with companies that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They interview the founders and/or directors of these organisations – wherever in the world they may be – and then write articles about them.
The stories are published on the site AIM2Flourish.com, an international platform supported by the UN. All articles on this platform are about profitable companies that have a positive impact on human wellbeing and a healthy world. In this way, AIM2Flourish is supporting the shift to a Business for Good mindset. You’ll find a lot of inspiring business stories there, including from the TIAS students.