Today more than 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, nearly half the world lives on less than $2 a day and a quarter of humanity gets by without electricity. To help address some of these issues and spur economic and social development,
For more than 125 years, The
What Is EKOCENTER?
EKOCENTER is a modular community market that is run by a local woman entrepreneur and also provides safe water, solar power and Internet access.
In 2013 we placed our first EKOCENTER prototype in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since, we have made significant progress and coordinated a dedicated management team to oversee the initiative. In the second half of 2014 we will place 23 EKOCENTER pilot units in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana and Vietnam.
The pilots will be conducted in collaboration with our partner SOLARKIOSKTM (www.solarkiosk.eu), a private company based in Berlin, Germany. SOLARKIOSK combines an award-winning design and innovative technology with an inclusive and proven business model to foster local entrepreneurship serving the Base-of-the-Pyramid, enabling economic and social development in rural off-the-grid communities. Since 2012 SOLARKIOSK has piloted kiosks in remote areas in Ethiopia, Kenya and Botswana. The kiosks are designed by Graft Architects (www.graftlab.com), also from Germany. Download the infographic (PDF)
Community participation and support are essential to the success of EKOCENTER, which is why we envision EKOCENTER being operated by local female entrepreneurs, complementing our 5by20 initiative, with assistance from technology, development, and financial partners.
How We’re Doing This: The Golden Triangle
Working with business, government and civil society – what we call the “Golden Triangle” – is key to making a positive difference on global challenges. To successfully execute EKOCENTER with long-term viability in mind, we must partner with other companies, NGOs and governments to leverage collective thinking, experience, innovation, products and financial support.
Here’s a list of our current partners:
- Global Environment & Technology Fund
- Inter-American Development Bank
- McCann Health
Our partners share our commitment to the social enterprise model and are helping us drive social and business impact simultaneously and at scale by contributing their core areas of expertise.
We also have many formal and informal partnerships with the governments and communities where we operate. We seek to partner with other Golden Triangle leaders who share our vision and see the potential of how together we can make a positive impact by empowering communities in need.“EKOCENTER represents an investment in the future prosperity and progress of some of the most fragile and at-risk communities we serve. Through EKOCENTER we have the ability to change lives by offering access to safe drinking water and other needed resources, all while empowering local entrepreneurs. What started as an aspiration is now becoming a reality as we welcome our partners across the golden triangle of business, government and civil society to scale and improve this innovation.”
Chairman and CEO