Two Rwandan startups, ARED and EarthEnable, have been named as finalists for the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2017. The challenge is being organised by the Dutch Postcode Lottery and it is worth 500,000 Euros (US$587,000).
The annual Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is one of the most renowned international annual competitions in the field of earth sustainability innovation. Participants are required to submit a detailed business plan to the preliminary jury, who will establish whether the idea is viable or not. At the end, the adjudged best business plan in terms of fighting climate change will win the 500,000 Euros prize, while the runner-up will go home with the 200,000 Euros (US$235,000) prize.
This year’s edition will hold on September 14 in Amsterdam. The 2 selected African startups will compete for the prize against three other finalists: Glowee from France, Lightyear from the Netherlands, and Pond from Denmark.
Meet the Participants
“ARED is a Rwandan company that developed the Shiriki Hub, a mobile solar kiosk, to bring low-cost connectivity and energy services to millions of Africans. The Hubs are powered by three 60 watt solar panels and are equipped with enhanced batteries and cranks to provide service on cloudy days or at night. The Hubs provide low-cost and convenient internet access as well as free access to local content and services delivered through ARED’s network. ARED’s platform is designed to deliver a virtually unlimited range of content and services through its network.
According to Henri Nyakarundi, founder of ARED.“It’s amazing to be recognised as a green entrepreneur by such a competition in the field of sustainable innovation. The prize money enables us to scale up our business model and further improve the technology in the Shiriki Hubs.”
“Most people in developing countries live on dirt floors, which are a major cause of disease, discomfort and indignity. The only viable alternative on the market is cement, which is expensive and unsustainable. EarthEnable provides an alternative in the form of sustainable, clean, waterproof earthen flooring. Their flooring makes homes cleaner and healthier at a much lower price for the customer and the environment than cement.
According to Gayatri Datar, co-founder, EarthEnable, “With the prize money we plan to scale within Rwanda and likely in three other countries. The prize money gives us the opportunity to test different scaling models to find a viable scale strategy to improve the health and lives of millions of people who are still living on dirt floors.”
This is another good development for Africa. We hope this stride will motivate the other climate enthusiasts in Africa to stick to their solutions and hope for a big day someday. We wish ARED and EarthEnable the best. May the best solution win!
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