Issuer: Newlight Africa Ltd
Amount: 150,000, senior debt
Maturity: 18 months, semi-annually and linearly amortizing
Interest rate: 7% p.a.
This is a direct loan to a company (rather than lending to a financial institution) and therefore it is recommendable that you are careful with the amount you will invest.
NewLight Africa – trading in Kenya as Heya! – is a last mile distribution company which sells products to the poorest people, living deep in the rural areas, on a credit basis. Our customers can buy the products which they need by paying in small weekly instalments. We sell solar lanterns, solar home systems, water tanks and clean cooking solutions; with plans for many more products in the future.
While it is increasingly common for African consumers to be able to purchase solar products on a pay-as-you-go basis, we are unusual in that we can sell almost any product this way. The products we sell are all aimed at helping our customers to improve their lives.
We are a UK registered company with our only subsidiary in Kenya. We were founded by Steve Andrews who has previously set up and/or successfully built a number of social enterprises. Steve was born a raised in Zimbabwe and has a passion for bringing clean energy solutions to rural African families.
Cooking is a major challenge if you live off-grid as 80% of African families do. The majority of families have no choice but to use wood or charcoal. These fuels are hugely problematic. They present one of the greatest health and environmental challenges of our time.
Diseases caused by in-door smoke kill more people than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria combined. And 90% of deforestation in Africa is driven by the need for cooking fuel. Heya! is playing a vital part in the solution to overcome this problem.
We are selling two products to help solve this problem: a very fuel efficient charcoal stove – the Envirofit Super Saver - which uses 60% less charcoal (which translates into huge financial savings for our customers). And an LPG package which includes a 6kg gas canister with a burner and frame for holding a pot. These products have been around for a while, of course, but it is Heya!’s ability to reach deep into rural communities and to sell these products on credit (which very poor people need) which is driving huge demand.
By raising €150,000 through Lendahand, Heya! will be able to purchase 5,000 new cook stoves which we will sell on credit to 5,000 families.
We will sell these cook stoves through women’s groups. The groups themselves will provide a guarantee that Heya! will be paid for the stoves, limiting repayment risks for Heya! Itself. (*note that capital is at risk, even with such guarantees)
As a result of this project, 5,000 families will either save money or enjoy better health. All of us will benefit from the fact that Heya!’s cooking solutions will reduce deforestation.
It is hard to give an accurate estimate of the environmental impact of these stoves because different families will use different combinations of wood, charcoal and LPG to cook. But we can conservatively estimate that for every stove we sell, between 0.75 and 1.5 tonnes of CO2 will be saved per annum.
Assuming 3 years of use per stove, that means that the 5,000 stoves which this project will fund, will result in CO2 savings of between 11,250 and 22,500 tonnes.
Description of Vision & Mission:
Our purpose is to deliver happiness to rural Africa, one product at a time.
What we do:
- We serve our customers so they can achieve their own aspirations
- We sell good products - high quality, affordable, environmentally and socially beneficial
- We target markets that others have avoided - the base of the pyramid in rural Africa
Why we do it:
- We are improving people’s lives and the environment
- We want to solve the world’s toughest problems through business
Steve Andrews, CEO
Former Global CEO of SunnyMoney, a non-profit company which he led from sales of 300 to 75,000 lights per month, making SunnyMoney the largest last mile distributor of solar lights on the African continent. Previously the owner-MD of Whitewater, a leading direct marketing agency, serving the non-profit market in the UK. Successfully exited Whitewater in 2007.
Fouad Aoun, COO
Former Consultant at Bain and Company, UAE. MBA Graduate from Harvard University. Fouad first worked at Heya! on a seconded basis from Mercy Corps (an investor) while working as a Senior Adviser on Social Ventures as part of his Harvard University Leadership Fellowship. Joined Heya! as COO/CFO in Apr 2017.
Linda Wamune, Head of Sales
SunnyMoney Kenya. Close colleague of Steve’s for over 6 years. Led SunnyMoney Kenya to become the largest last mile distributor of solar lights in Kenya. Prior to SunnyMoney, learnt about retail through 8 years of working in sales for Davis and Shirtliff, an East African company selling water pumps, solar power and other domestic products.
Candice Pelser, Head of MIS
Candice left corporate IT years ago looking for work with more meaning. She spent a few years in the NGO sector working on energy and climate change policy and practice, till she found her niche in the “best of both” world of social & environmental business. Candice is combining her experience in IT, development and business to strengthen Heya!’s MIS infrastructure.
Max Weiner, Head of Distribution and Procurement
Max graduated from Wesleyan University, USA in May 2017 and left to travel the world, landing at Heya in September of that year. After several months of field work, Max had made such an impact that we gave him leadership of distribution and procurement, where he enjoys the challenge of developing robust systems in an emerging market. Max is particularly interested in leveraging the strength of local partner organizations to increase efficiency.
Previous realized projects: