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Mission: To improve the quality of life in developing communities by pioneering ventures that provide access to appropriate sustainable energy technologies.
Vision: Light in every home, clean air in every kitchen, power in every hand...
Elephant Energy promotes entrepreneurship and incentivizes nature conservation in rural southern Africa by marketing and distributing appropriate sustainable energy technologies in communities located in the heart of elephant territory.
Elephant Energy ("EE") makes clean energy technologies affordable and accessible to rural Namibians through a three-pronged distribution network that includes Elephant Energy Shops, rural partner shops, and rural saleswomen. While only 15% of rural Namibians have access to electricity, in the Caprivi Region, EE's solar-powered lights, clean cookstoves, solar cell phone chargers, and crank-powered radios are readily available via a network of ten shops at prices from US$10-$30. This low price and ease of access enables Caprivians to afford technologies like solar-powered lights, which allow children to study into the evening, protect farmers from elephants and lions, reduce harmful emissions, and save families over US$7 each month in fuel costs. EE also offers financing through a unique rent-to-own model administered by rural saleswomen for those that cannot afford to purchase a product up front.
The Elephant Energy Shop in Katima Mulilo provides a sales outlet for clean energy technologies in a market-center and provides regional marketing support to rural partner shops and saleswomen. The shop offers a wide variety of products to meet the energy needs of city-dwellers.
EE's micro-consignment model involves a loan of 15-30 clean energy technologies to nine rural entrepreneurs with shops that range from mud huts to brick-and-mortar establishments. Each month, an EE agent visits these shops to collect the proceeds from sales in the preceding month, distribute new products, and provide new marketing materials. This system generates income for rural shop owners and provides access to EE's technologies to those living deep in the bush.
Finally, EE works with rural women to distribute products on a rent-to-own basis. When sold at market prices, some clean energy technologies are too expensive for the women that stand to benefit the most from their use. The rent-to-own program provides for payment in five monthly installments for select energy products, allowing rural saleswomen to increase their incomes and promote energy access.
- Doug Vilsack
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