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Solarkiosks make debut in Kenya’s rural areas

Energy 4 Impact, a non-profit organisation that supports local businesses that provide energy access to off-grid communities in Africa, has inked a new partnership with German firm Solarkiosk to bring energy access to entrepreneurs in rural off-grid communities in Kenya.

Solarkiosks AG designs, manufactures, implements and operates energy-autonomous and solar-powered retail hubs called E-hubbs.

Since its inception in 2011, the company has established a Pan-African network of close to 200 E-hubbs, providing a last mile distribution channel for solar products, energy-based services like mobile phone charging, refrigeration and sustainable consumer goods.

The E-hubb microgrid capacity has allowed Solarkiosks to enable local entrepreneurs in several E-hubb communities by providing them with infrastructure, energy and connectivity and thus establishing ‘connected solar market centres’.

After having implemented around 10 connected solar market centres in Rwanda and Tanzania, now the company is implementing its first centre in rural Kenya, enabling entrepreneurs from local communities to power their businesses with the energy produced at the E-HUBB, thereby strengthening the economic development in these villages.

For the first time barbers and hairdressers, small restaurants, motorbike repair shops, tailors, cyber cafés or cinemas will have the chance to grow and thrive alongside the E-hubb, benefitting not only from reliable renewable energy but also from the increased foot traffic at the market.

Energy 4 Impact will provide business advisory support to SOLARKIOSK to deploy the connected solar market centres, by providing business consulting on the development of a productive use strategy and creating tools for the development of entrepreneurs and customized businesses for the rural market.

“It is exciting to work with SOLARKIOSK and support the company in developing their model further. SOLARKIOSK is one of the early movers in the market and has extensive outreach in the region.

Its innovative energy solution allows for adaptation to energy demands of the communities in each country,” said Diana Kollanyi, Energy 4 Impact’s SMEs Advisor.

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