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Andreas Spieß, CEO of SOLARKIOSK, chosen as German Minister for Development by German trend magazine NEON

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German trend magazine NEON elected Mr. Spieß as Minister for Development as part of their “Schattenkabinett” (shadow cabinet) in their recent March edition.
 
The featured article titled “Please, you take over” was published as a reaction to the unusually lengthy amount of time German politicians and parties needed to establish a government majority and a functional executive minister cabinet.
 
As a result, inspiring people, whether in politics or not, had been elected to the NEON shadow cabinet, to set a better example.
 

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SOLARKIOSK offers farmers in rural Tanzania a better Access to Markets, with its new reverse supply chain program

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Sales Manager Philip Labre, supervising the packaging of rice at Turiani, Morogoro region, Tanzania.

Photo: Sales Manager Philip Labre supervising the packaging of rice at Turiani, Morogoro region, Tanzania.
 
When we think of supply chain management, we tend to imagine a one-way street, where the supplies go from the producer through a middle-man to a consumer.
 
At SOLARKIOSK we have started to build on our outstanding distribution network to the last mile – to make the most out of it, since the “common” way may not always work in every situation or company.
 
After some research, we decided to reverse our supply chain. Now, our trucks do not only take products to the rural off-grid villages in which we work, but also bring farm products back to the urban centers. This way smallholder farmers benefit from better margins and SOLARKIOSK can offer their high-quality rice and beans to other communities via its more than 40 E-HUBBs and to other wholesale buyers in Dar es Salaam.
 
SOLARKIOSK Tanzania Sales Manager, Philip Labre states, “In our regular market studies, farmers had expressed that the middlemen dictated the prices for their products and that they would be happy if they could find alternative ways to market.”
 
The set-up we then developed is a clear win-win situation for all of us: Better prices for the farmers and great products for SOLARKIOSK and our network. At the same time, we optimize our use of transport vehicles – a responsibility towards the environment.
 
Beans and Rice

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EQUITY BANK and SOLARKIOSK Kenya partner to finance solar products for SOLARKIOSK customers.

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SOLARKIOSK Kenya has partnered with Equity Bank to roll out merchant outlets across all E-HUBBs in Kenya. Twenty-six of our Kenyan E-HUBB operators recently underwent training on EcoMoto, a platform powered by Equitel.
 
EcoMoto enables customers to access loans to purchase solar products and energy efficient cookstoves, available at our E-HUBBs, through their mobile phones. This allows SOLARKIOSK Kenya to be an Access to Finance enabler at the BoP in rural communities in Kenya.
 
The training of our E-HUBB operators will further help our customers understand their mobile access to finance and the applications to easily organize their private finances.
 
Training 1
 
Training 2

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SOLARKIOSK partners with Honey Care Africa

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SOLARKIOSK is happy to announce a partnership with Honey Care Africa to distribute local, honey-based food products in Kenya.
 
Honey Care Africa works closely together with Kenyan farmers to bring to market the best quality honey and healthy honey-based snacks from locally produced honey and harvests.
 
Solar Kiosk Kenya will soon be selling healthy snacks enriched with natural honey through our network of E-HUBBs in rural Kenya.
 
Find out more about Honey Care Africa here.
 
Honey Care Africa Products

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SOLARKIOSK was invited to speak at the Munich Security Conference kick-off event

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“Collaboration with local partners and civil society actors has become an undisputed part of comprehensive and effective international development cooperation. However, the question of how to deal with the old economic elites in the process of social transformation has not yet received due attention. How can the economic elites themselves be transformed in societies in transformation? Will they be capable and willing to act as promoters of a rule-based market economy?” These are issues that were discussed at the “Transforming Fragile Societies – What Role for Economic Elites?” event on the 16th of February in Munich.
 
SOLARKIOSK CEO, Andreas Spiess, was invited by the BMW Foundation, to represent SOLARKIOSK as a speaker at the Munich Security Conference focusing on changing “society undergoing ‘elites’ disruptive business models at the Base-of-the-Pyramid.” Together with the panelists Elsie S. Kanza, Head of Regional Strategies – Africa, World Economic Forum and Abdallah Al Dardari Senior Advisor, The World Bank, they tackeled these questions with the knowledge and expereince they have collected through out their careers.
 
Andreas discussed how the SOLARKIOSK business model is directly targeting rural “Base of the Pyramid” communities in developing countries, which rural areas are mostly neglected by infrastructure and investment programs. Whereas the “old economic elites” mainly focus on urban and industrial centers / sectors, SOLARKIOSK scalable commercial approach impacts rural communities where unemployment is up to 40% and more and the youth lacks tangible educational and economic perspectives. Andreas explained how a profitable business can be build with last mile distribution, energy and connectivity.
 
“I am always pleased to see how much interest and appreciation SOLARKIOSK receives at high level events like Davos and MSC. People are excited to learn that our customers may have small pockets, but they are many, and they like to spend their money at SOLARKIOSK as we are the trusted brand for sustainable products and solutions at the last mile. And it does not stop here. We are also buying local produce, often prolonging the value chain at the local farmers through agro-processing, buying at fair price without and reselling directly to other wholesellers. This “push and pull” makes SOLARKIOSKs´s value proposition truly intriguing.”
 

20180216 - Atmosphere at BMW Foundation event, Bayerischer Hof, Munich Security Conference 2018, Munich, Germany.

©Fotografie Lukas Barth

 

20180216 - Atmosphere at BMW Foundation event, Bayerischer Hof, Munich Security Conference 2018, Munich, Germany.

©Fotografie Lukas Barth

 

20180216 - Atmosphere at BMW Foundation event, Bayerischer Hof, Munich Security Conference 2018, Munich, Germany.

©Fotografie Lukas Barth

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Local bakery buys and sells at SOLARKIOSK E-HUBBS

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Over the course of the last three years SOLARKIOSK has been bridging the gap between local producers and consumers.
 
Across 56 local communities in Rwanda, the E-HUBBs are perceived by the local communities as a connecting link between factory processors and end users.
 
As an example, the local bakers in Rubona purchase their ingredients, such as flour and sugar, from the E-HUBB, which are sourced from Kigali factories. The bakers then use the E-HUBB is their point of sale for their self produced bread and mandazis, a traditional fried bread. In the pictures you can see them buying the flour, producing the mandazisand bread, to which the breads are later seen in the shelves of the E-HUBB.
 
This empowers the local entrepreneurs to further strengthen their business and supplies E-HUBB customers with locally produced food.
 
SOLARKIOSK proudly supports local producers, helping communities to grow.

 
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SOLARKIOSK tackling last mile distribution challenges day by day

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A large part of SOLARKIOSK’s core operation is distributing high-quality and sustainable consumer goods to our customers at the last mile.

 

E-HUBBs are established in some of the most remote villages in Africa to enable and empower communities without reliable access to energy and goods.
Our mission to provide to the underserved does not come without its challenges.
With the dedication and professionalism of SOLARKOISK’s teams across East Africa, they enable the timely delivery of goods to our E-HUBBS.
Even in truly demanding conditions, we make sure that quality goods and solar products are delivered to each of our 200 E-HUBBs up to three times a month.
 

Take a look at some images from our operations in Kenya and Tanzania to get an insight into the transportation challenges faced to bring stock to our E-HUBBs during the rainy season.

 

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Meet Jeannette Umuhoza, one of SOLARKIOSK´s 56 female E-HUBB operators in Rwanda.

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Meet Jeannette Umuhoza, one of SOLARKIOSK´s 56 female E-HUBB operators in Rwanda.

 

Jeannette joined the Solarkiosk Rwanda team in 2014 as one of the first SOLARKIOSK operators in Rwanda. She manages the E-HUBB in the village of Rubona where she was born and raised.

 

“I always remember how excited I was when I got the offer from Solarkiosk” Jeannette tells us. “From the moment I joined Solarkiosk Rwanda back in 2014, I could support my family financially and was able to handle my own problems without any one’s support.”

 
“I know it might sound funny, but it was one of my greatest achievements when I was able to open my own bank account, thanks to my steady income with SOLARKIOSK. You can’t believe how proud I am. I have managed to help my parents get electricity and pay the school fees for my young brother. My family respects me because instead of being a burden, I always come with solutions and financial support.”

 

Jeannette has become a key member of the SOLARKIOSK Rwanda sales team; one of the 56 female E-HUBB operators who sell solar products, sustainable goods and energy services to their customers in rural communities. It is an energetic team who always want to improve their performance and learn new skills.

 

“I would like to thank Solarkiosk for giving me the opportunity to grow my career by attending different training courses, which have helped me to gain sales skills, customer care and customer attraction.”

“At Solarkiosk, operators are valued, we are always asked to share our views. It is a positive corporate culture and it increases our morale and keeps us motivated.”

 

We cannot be happier to have Jeannette on our team of all female, driven operators to continue to grow the reach of Solarkiosk in Rwanda and serve as ambassadors for women empowerment.

 

Jeannette Rwanda

“I am a successful woman because of Solarkiosk Rwanda Ltd” – Jeannette Umuhoza

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SOLARKIOSK joins the Smart Communities Coalition to transform refugee settlements into digital communities

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Today Mastercard and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the launch of a public-private coalition that will bring together technology, solutions and experience from multiple sectors to transform refugee settlements into digitally-connected communities. This commitment delivers on a vision laid out in research conducted last year by Mastercard to better understand the critical needs of the over seven million refugees living in camps or settlements today.
 

The Smart Communities Coalition, led by Mastercard and USAID’s Power Africa initiative, will launch pilot programs during the first half of 2018 to address some of the biggest barriers to development. The organizations will work together to introduce internet and mobile connectivity, access to clean, efficient energy and digital financial tools for communities in Kenya and Uganda, with plans to scale to other refugee-hosting countries around the world.
 

“SOLARKIOSK is thrilled to be one of the founding members of the Smart Communities Coalition. We look forward to enabling our solar powered infrastructure, the E-HUBB, to become an integral part of the Coalition’s mission to bring renewable energy and economic generating opportunities to refugee and host communities.  With a network of over 200 E-HUBBs across Africa and Asia, experience with refugee and host communities in the Middle East and over five years of know-how in providing retail products and energy services to underserved markets, SOLARKIOSK can greatly contribute to the transformation led by the Coalition,” noted SOLARKIOSK’s co-founder and CEO Andreas Spiess.
 

In addition to Mastercard and Power Africa, organizations participating in the coalition alongside SOLARKIOSK include: Accenture, Acumen, BRCK, Danish Refugee Council, Energy Peace Partners, Fenix International, GSMA, The Innovation Village, Lutheran World Federation, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, Moving Energy Initiative, NetHope, Norwegian Refugee Council, Off-Grid Electric, Pawame, PowerGen Renewable Energy, Tent Foundation, USAID Global Development Lab, U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Vecna Cares Charitable Trusts, and World Vision.
 

Read the full press release here.
 

Smart Communities Coalition launch 2

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