Since 2015, BfE has provided consulting, finance and legal advisory to over 40 social enterprises across the globe, with projects ranging from agricultural production to app developments.
Scroll down to learn more about past and ongoing projects we have worked with.
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Nafa Naana is a social business making clean and affordable energy products available to the poorest households of Burkina Faso. Nafa Naana implements an innovative business model, which combines a microfranchise approach to an adapted microcredit scheme: they develop marketing and financial solutions to strengthen distribution channels for clean and affordable cookstoves, LPG stoves and solar lamps and solar home systems, while stimulating demand. As of today, Nafa Naana has sold more than 30,000 energy-efficient products through a network of 65 micro-franchised retailers and more than 70 key accounts (community based women organizations, associations and federations).
N&A Organics develops and sells cosmetic products specifically made for the African skin type and free of harmful bleaching ingredients,, which are included in most products that are available on the market. their products contain natural ingredients sourced from female producers who live in rural villages in the northern part of the country. the company sells the products online and at local fairs and markets.
SocialFarm rents and sells farmland and farm materials (‘inputs”) to university graduates, rural women and agripreneurs. In addition to supplying these products and services, SocialFarm trains farmers to improve their agronomic practices and supports their access to markets. The land they sell is either owned outright or rented through a 10 year lease.
Our organization’s mission is to radically improve health outcomes in resource-poor areas by delivering life-saving, affordable medical technologies. We are one of a few agile medical device companies on-the-ground in India with a proven set of experience in both development and commercialization from concept to market.
makes it easier for people to experience the joy of giving. It is an online platform dedicated to connect NGOs committed to the social cause with the ones who want to give to the deprived section of the society in a transparent and well administered manner. is the easiest way to donate items to NGOs. Following a stringent on-boarding process, NGOs can set up an account on our platform and post their item requirements. Individual donors and companies from across the world can fulfil these requirements by donating new items or used items in good condition.
Medha improves employment outcomes for youth. We provide 21st century skills training, career counselling and workplace exposure, and ongoing job placement and alumni support to students at their existing educational institutions. Since 2011, Medha has trained over 3,000 students across 30 educational institutions, placed them into internships and full-time jobs with 200 leading employers, and built a public-private partnership with the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
WiFi4Good allows users to access data for free by shifting the cost of the data onto partners (such as governments or NGOs) who would pay to get people to watch their videos/take surveys etc (instead of paying for traditional advertising). From the user perspective, it follows an ‘earn and burn’ model - each time they engage with content from the partner they earn a certain amount of data to use.
PayGo Ventures believes all rural Africans should live in modern homes. They combine 1) best-in-class technology adapted to rural settings, 2) mobile- enabled consumer financing to make their products affordable, and 3) last-mile distribution to bring them right into the customers’ homes. Their mission starts with pay-as-you-go household solar products, and later extends to other modernising products such as cookstoves, water filters, digital appliances and financial services.
Givo is the world's first mobile app that allows users to create customised newsfeeds for causes and topics they care about. These BuzzFeed-like, bitesize news stories go straight to their mobile phones, making it more convenient to stay up-to-date with both local and global causes. They can share and re-post inspirational photos and stories onto Givo, Facebook and Twitter, so that their friends and followers can be inspired too. Charities can directly post photos and stories onto their supporters' newsfeeds, at the tap of a button. Users can also directly donate through the app. Donation activity is tracked, and can be shared to all their friends too.
Chemolex Ltd is a green start-up company based in Nairobi, Kenya which hopes to provide rural households and businesses with affordable electricity which can be used for lighting. The company has agents in each area who will receive charged batteries from the company’s solar power charging station in Gem Yala, Western Kenya everyday and households/businesses can bring their rechargeable batteries to these agents in exchange for charged batteries a low fee. Many households/businesses in Kenya currently rely on kerosene lamps and Chemolex hopes to provide a cheaper, safer and brighter alternative to raise their standards of living.
Electrocook is a new African social enterprise focused on developing a completely clean and healthy cookstove that is significantly cheaper to cook with than the most commonly used fuels in Kenya (in particular charcoal, which is unhealthy and environmentally damaging). Electrocook has raised funds to complete technical feasibility checks, including the design and manufacture of a locally appropriate, highly efficient electric stove. The electric stove is around 40% cheaper to use than an efficient charcoal stove. Electrocook has sold all 40 of the stoves it has manufactured to date.
Iscom Tradelink Enterprises is a registered enterprise developing Moto Smart Biomass Briquettes as cooking and heating fuel. The briquettes are made from agricultural waste and/or plant residues, such as sawdust and maize cobs, and offer a clean, healthy, affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern alternative to charcoal, kerosene and firewood. The business operates under the renewable energy generation sector of the Kenyan economy, which takes advantage of the over 1.6 million tons of agricultural waste generated annually in the country. More generally, it represents a practical intervention against climate change in the region.
Migo Ranch and Farms
Established in 2015, Migo Ranch & Farms is an organic farming start-up business in Kenya that aims to give consumers a healthy alternative when it comes to buying vegetables. The business aims to produce different types of vegetables organically for sale to different consumers, including households, supermarkets, hospitals, hotels and restaurants. It also trains local farmers in organic farming techniques, giving them a platform that bypasses middlemen to increase profits and productivity.
Mulembe Africa Group
Mulembe Africa Group target market comprises the un-banked; credit-constrained small and micro entrepreneurs, households in poor urban and rural neighbourhoods and smallholder farmers found in rural areas. The organisation aims to empower people through the provision of microfinance services (savings, microcredit, and investment services). People can be members of Mulembe training programme by saving a certain amount of money in Mulembe Africa every month, by doing so, they will not only get the interest but also literacy classes on budget-management and investment. After the training, their saving will be their initial fund for their projects.
Ongoza provides up to two years of customised weekly business advisory, market linkages, and debt financing to young social entrepreneurs. We give them the knowledge they need when they need it and walks with them through the process of growth. We combine this with access to capital through our sister company Key Partners, which offers low-cost debt financing (8% interest, 4-8 month term limits).
Ajima Farms was launched in 2015. This was after securing a US$100 000 grant from the United States African Development Foundation's Power Africa Off-grid Energy challenge. Ajima Farms initiated the Waste-to-Watt project that deploys renewable biogas technology so as to provide affordable electricity and to power productive activities in the community. Their major targets are the communities that are off the grid, more specifically the Riji and Khuwizi communities with a population of 1500 people. They target amenities such as schools, health centres and farm clusters.
Beat Drone uses drones to increase harvested crops yields for farmers and agri-businesses. Their drones carry out crop health inspection, crop spraying of herbicides and pesticides alongside thermal imagery. This enables farmers to monitor the crop health status and to rapidly react in case of crop diseases. The company owns 25 drones and is currently monitoring over 3000 hectares of farmland. The company charges $1 for crop inspection and $10 per hectare for crop spraying. Beat Drone is using off the shelf drones and software, but it is developing its own software. The company has 4 full-time employees and employs part-time pilots depending on workload. The company has won the Start Up Nigeria competition and has received funding from angel investors. Beat Drone plans to expand in the oil and gas sector and infrastructure industry by providing drone monitoring services.
SunLight Energy Ventures
SunLight Energy Ventures seeks to alleviate the deplorable standard of living in rural communities of Northern Nigeria, as well as improve the primary health care system of these communities by providing access to clean, affordable, efficient and reliable electricity via its solar DC Micro-grids scheme. These community micro-grids are also inclusive of a water pumping system for domestic and agricultural uses; a ‘solar home system’ for use in the community healthcare center and street/security lights which illuminate these villages at night, further reducing insurgency attacks on these villages.
GraviLog is a free smartphone app intended for the use of pregnant women and their gynaecologists and obstetricians. The app was developed based on the conviction that all pregnant women should have the right to own and control their own Electronic Medical Record (EMR) for free, even as they seek a second opinion or move to another country. GraviLog records important health-related information throughout the entire pregnancy period. Once an account is created, the app creates an EMR, stored in the cloud, that the patient has full control over. All medical information is encrypted ocustomised guides and pointers according to the patient’s condition and serves as a direct channel of communication between her and her doctor.
Retronix Trading Limited
As of 2014, 22% of Rwandan citizens have access to electricity, primarily those residing in urban centers. The Rwandan government has set an ambitious goal of increasing this percentage to 70% by 2017. One major obstacle is the high price of connecting rural households to the Rwandan electric grid (think power stations and power lines). As a result, these off-grid communities have traditionally been barred from electricity. As an alternative, the Rwandan government is pushing for the adoption of alternative off-grid solutions such as solar power. It estimates that 31% of new electric connectivity will be achieved with off-grid solutions. However, currently less than 1% of households are electrified with off-grid solutions--about 530,000 households must be electrified through alternative means to meet this goal.
PatientsEngage is an online community building platform to support patients and family caregivers in the management of chronic conditions. PatientsEngage is an initiative that seeks to enable patients and caregivers to take charge of their own lives holistically especially in relation to chronic conditions. PatientsEngage covers around 50 conditions has about 20 communities. They also have mental health and well being, developmental challenges and other such communities and have tied up with Parkinsons Society of India. PatientsEngage lead their patient engagement initiative with an evidence-based content-driven approach. They continue to add their own content as well as curated content on a daily basis to the site and share it on FB and Twitter.
Iftiin (meaning ‘light’) is a for-profit high-impact business venture that has been formed to import and distribute quality solar lights to the Somali peninsular, defined as South Central (Mogadishu and surrounds), Somaliland and Puntland. Iftiin will become the dominant provider of solar lights and solar products in Somalia. This socially driven business has the objective to provide light and power, decrease poverty and improve the quality of life for millions of low-income Somali households through the introduction of high quality solar products at affordable prices.
Arusha Women Entrepreneur
Arusha Women Entrepreneur is a social enterprise that involves unemployed women in the production and marketing of organic peanut butter, controlled for aflatoxin contamination. AWE uses premium, sustainably sourced groundnuts that benefit hundreds of smallholder farmers in Tanzania. After being processed, the peanut butter is sold to supermarkets, retail stores and farmers' markets. AWE works with World Vision to educate smallholder farmers on growing groundnuts and then purchases high quality groundnuts from them, thereby increasing the financial independence of these farmers. Its female employees also benefit from increased income and independence
Biofood Tech Enteprises
Biofood Tech Enterprises is a Tanzanian startup that has developed a unique and affordable non-dairy probiotic drink (Karangayogo) that confers health benefits to consumers who are lactose intolerant. The startup has enjoyed significant sales since its inception in February 2015, distributing to universities, hospital and companies etc, and aims to capture 25% of the market share (over 4.2 million Tanzanians are lactose intolerant). Biofood Tech Enterprises has won several high profile awards in Africa, such as the TANZICT Innovation Fund Award, Exhibition Award at UDSM and has been nominated as a finalist at the Africa Entrepreneurship Award 2015 in Morocco.
Guavay is the first commercial-grade producer of quality organic fertilizer in Tanzania. The company seeks to build a strong local brand for its fertilizer while offering crop planting advice to farmers. The company uses a fraction of huge and poorly disposed organic waste from food markets, residential areas and local food catering, to process and produce 100% nutrient rich solid organic fertilizer. The product is branded HAKIKA (Swahili word meaning indeed) to emphasize high performance to our esteemed customers. Hakika organic fertilizer has proven excellence performance for vegetable, fruits farming and landscaping already in the market
MCA Technologies is a firm that partners with international NGOs to target crop productivity and soil fertility in Tanzania. The central proposition is a manure spreader, a scalable and sustainable form of technology. Currently, most Tanzanian farmers either spread manure by hand, an inefficient and labour-intensive process mainly undertaken by women, or simply not spread any manure at all. As a result, 91% of rural households have soil erosion problems and crops yield only 20-30% of their full potential. The manure spreader can therefore improve productivity and income, while reducing the labour intensiveness of manure spreading.
African Renewable Energy Distributor
(Rwanda & Uganda)
ARED is a hard-tech as a service company (HAAS). We developed a business in a box platform that brings together a solar kiosk, and app and software capabilities. This provides Wifi to connect people, an intranet for offline users, and phone charging capacity. With our app, we offer additional services such as airtime, mobile money, prepaid electricity, and tax payment for people at the base of the pyramid. We use a micro franchise model to empower women and people with disability.
Project Production Solaire
Project Production Solaire Togo aims to improve the living conditions in ten villages located far from Togo’s electric grid network by selling potable water extracted from borehole wells equipped with pumps powered by high-quality photovoltaic cells. These pumps are produced by Lorentz in Germany. The solar generator has a nominal power of 3 to 4 kilowatt-peak per unit of installation. From its establishment in 2012, the firm has installed more than 100 water-pumping systems following successful bids to major organisations and provides technical assistance as well.
InstaHEAL Telemedicine LLC
InstaHEAL Telemedicine provides telehealth services for people suffering from mental illnesses through easing access to professional psychiatrists and consultation services that can be accessed from home, e.g. through videoconferencing. Revenues are generated through charging hospitals a monthly subscription fee. The hospitals can then provide the service to remotely located patients, who are charged additional consultations fees for the actual services that they are using. The consultation services are provided at low cost in order to enable less affluent rural populations to use the services and require low band-with, i.e. they are accessible in rural areas.
E-msika Services Limited
eMsika.com claims to be directly intervening on the sustainable development goals number 2 and 8. By giving farmers good quality farm inputs they can produce high crop yields that are of good quality. The delivery of the products saves farmers crucial time which would otherwise be spent on long and dangerous journeys to acquire the appropriate farm inputs.
Forthrighter Digital Marketing and Communications is a digital marketing company. The company goal is to help their clients create a better relationship with their customers. Forthrighter offers three main services: bulk SMS, social media strategy and branding. Bulk SMS is the most established and profitable service. This service consists of sending promotional information about the client to customers via SMS. Social media strategy and branding are two relatively new services which are not fully operational, but it is where the company plans to expand. Social media strategy is a consulting service that provides bespoke social media marketing solutions to the client. The branding service offers a package of services from graphic design to web design to clients that are looking for create or change their company outlook.
ShopZed is an online grocery store that delivers groceries to 3 provinces in Zambia. Food items can be bought using the ShopZed website and they will be delivered to the customer door. The fresh groceries are locally sourced with particular effort to work with women farmers. Other items are supplied by wholesalers or directly from manufactures. By doing so ShopZed is able to have comparable prices to local supermarkets. Large supermarket chains do not currently have online grocery stores and ShopZed has only one competitor. ShopZed competitive advantage is the delivery system that brings the goods directly to the customer home. The delivery is outsourced to an external company as ShopZed does not have the resources to buy vehicles. The company has small storage facilities. There are several customer segments: local Zambian (middle-class), Zambians living abroad that provide for their families and international sponsors that support schools for underprivileged Zambian children. ShopZed won $15, 000 by achieving the 4th place at the Nyamuka Zambia Competition.
Hutano Technologies is a youth-driven software development company based in Harare, Zimbabwe that has developed proprietary electronic health record systems that will utilise block-chain technology for healthcare providers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our solution is custom-built for healthcare providers in Africa and aims to help healthcare providers by utilising technology to reduce administrative tasks and costs, and provide a better experience for patients. The software enables providers to better engage with their patients through bulk sms platforms as well as empowering patients with their health information
A small scale solar energy company that works to provide solar panels to on- and off-grid households and commercial businesses/business centres, as well as providing services such as green consulting. They are looking to roll out a pay-as-you-go leasing system to mitigate high upfront costs facing potential investors.