United Kingdom | In action since 2008
To combat high levels of respiratory illness in rural areas of Tanzania, members of our Enactus United Kingdom team sought to provide clean cooking options that also would generate income for project participants living in poverty. The team worked with the local organization Vijana Vision Tanzania to provide business training as well as microfinancing for women entrepreneurs in the village of Mkuyuni, who produce and sell stoves that drastically reduce toxic emissions. In addition to empowering those women and reducing exposure to toxic fumes during indoor cooking, the project also deters deforestation in the region by providing alternatives to wood-fire cooking. The stoves are sold through a six-month repayment plan to enable even the poorest families in the region to obtain them.
Impact(s): 7 women entrepreneurs now sell LightMountain products; 3 cooperatives of women started in different villages; children of the women now are able to attend school as their family incomes increase
What’s next: Expanding cooperatives to more villages around Tanzania; retailing some of the cooking solutions to local businesses and organizations to generate more income and expand the project further.
This project advances these key Global Goals:
): Rebecca Willey, OD Coordinator; Julie Devonshire, Director of Entrepreneurship; Susan Trenholm, Reader/Management; Eka Ikpe, Lecturer in Development Economics in Africa; Ben Jones, London Engagement Coordinator
Volunteer hours invested in project:
Our proudest moment of the past year:
When on our third visit, we were able to see the real impact of our project as some of the entrepreneur women are now able to send their children to school or they raised themselves above the poverty line.
Biggest challenge from the past year:
: The business plan did not work completely at first in some parts of the village, as the repayments were not being collected completely…. after redesigning the stoves and making them more affordable, we not only tackled the problem but opened new opportunities for the project.
Team described in one word:
Clara’s grandparents immigrated to France from Spain and Tunisia, and her father grew up in a poor suburb of Paris. Yet he excelled as an engineering student, and with Clara’s mother, launched a telecommunications company that enables immigrants to telephone their families in other countries at affordable rates. “His story never fails to remind me that entrepreneurship can really be transformative in someone’s life, and that it can and should always be used for good,” says Clara, who joined Enactus four years ago and has led the LightMountain project team for two years. Pursuing a master of science degree in clinical neuroscience, Clara plans to graduate in 2019.
More about Clara:
Esteban says he’s long believed the world can change for the better by teaching people in need to “to make the best of their opportunities and be dignified by doing so.” He joined Enactus a year ago, seeing it as a conduit to “make these dreams true while helping other in the process.” As deputy project leader of LightMountain, Esteban expects his EWC 2017 experience will enable him to meet and share knowledge with others whose varied experiences and expertise will enrich his academic and business careers. Majoring in biology and chemistry, he plans to graduate in 2018.
More about Esteban: