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WHAT IF FREE, RENEWABLE COOKING GAS WAS AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE IN NEED?

Ten years ago, while traveling in Africa, I saw women returning from the forest carrying wood for cooking. I later discovered that cooking this way is creating major problems. One hour of cooking on open fire is equal to smoking 400 cigarettes, which causes the death of four million women and children every year. Today there are three billion people who still cook on an open fire. I decided I must do something about it, which led to starting HomeBiogas.

HomeBiogas is a household system that turns organic waste like food leftovers, animal manure, and human waste, into clean cooking gas and liquid fertilizer. From only a few kilos of waste it can provide three to six hours of cooking per day – improving lives and benefitting the environment.

FUNDING WOULD ALLOW US TO…

Funding would help our vision of making HomeBiogas affordable and accessible to all. Until recently, our company worked with a sales model. Now we are transforming to a service model to make our product more affordable. A family can pay $30 for charcoal each month. If they want to buy HomeBiogas, they must pay $400 upfront which can be difficult to do. On a service model they can pay $20 dollars per month and after 20 months they will own the product outright.

We have already begun the service model in India and Kenya, but our distributors are doing payment collection door-to-door. With the funding support we will continue the development of a smart gas valve so that the distributor can take incremental payments through mobile phones. This would mean that the customer doesn’t have to make a large up-front payment and can receive maintenance and customer service over time.

With each household system, 730 kg of waste is avoided, and six tonnes of CO2 emissions are prevented. To date, we have sold over 9,000 systems in 107 countries, which projects how much wider of an impact we can make – this is our time to scale and reach all populations in need.

TRAVELLING IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES INSPIRED ME

I travelled in many developing countries around the world – Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central America – and witnessed the huge gap in the way that people live. Between my life and my family’s life, and the local people and their ability to meet basic needs. I realised I wanted to be part of the solution.

Before starting HomeBiogas, I had founded a different company that developed a product, but I realised that I didn’t want to simply develop additional products just to make a profit. I wanted to produce a product that will improve the quality of life of people and the environment.

WHAT’S YOUR BLEND FOR SUCCESS?

Our three founders are lifelong friends and having been working together on HomeBiogas for the past decade. Each founder brings their unique offering and perspective to the team, blending vision and practical skills to form a strong team.

Beyond the founders, our team is made up of 35 dedicated people who are engineers, marketing experts, salespeople, business developers, project managers, environmental stewards, technicians and more. Our diverse mix of people work together at our headquarters in a village, where we have a communal space to meet outdoors between our offices and the production line.

Every day, each person, whether he works on the production line or in customer support, sits outside on picnic benches for a home-cooked lunch, family style. The connection and communication that is allowed by the blend of our relationship, and the space where we work, is what helps us function as a team and stay focused on the shared vision.

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