Today close to 800 million 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
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 2014, we placed 25 EKOCENTERs in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana and Vietnam and in 2015 our goal is to place up to 150 additional units to prove out our business model.
The pilots will be conducted in collaboration with our partner SOLARKIOSK (www.solarkiosk.eu), a private company based in Berlin, Germany. SOLARKIOSK combines an award-winning design and innovative technology with an inclusive business model to enable economic and social development in 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.
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.
Working with business, government, and civil society – what we call the “Golden Triangle” – is key to the long-term success of EKOCENTER. As an old African proverb says ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together,’ by leveraging our collective thinking, experience and resources, together we will create a greater impact.
Here’s a list of our current partners:
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.”
Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The