Empower Malawi

Posted on Nov 15, 2017 in Aid Projects

Empower Malawi is a small social enterprise operating in Northern Malawi with the aim of providing access to energy to hard to reach, rural communities. While solar businesses focusing on providing access to energy have thrived across much of Eastern Africa, the uptake in Malawi has been significantly slower to date. This is largely driven by the low income nature of the country, with Malawi having the second lowest GDP per capita globally (World Bank 2016).
Empower Malawi therefore seeks to bridge the finance gap for these low-income consumers by offering pay-per-use access to energy goods and services, such as phone charging, rental of house lights and charging of batteries, delivered through a series of Energy Hubs. This means that consumers can access goods and services without incurring high start-up costs.
Empower Malawi’s Energy Hubs are delivered in conjunction with local schools across Northern Malawi. As well as providing access to energy goods and services, each Hub offers the school free lighting allowing classes to be run at night and improving the educational services the school can provide. For housing the Energy Hub, as well as gaining free lighting, the school receives a percentage of the profits of the business, while a further percentage is provided to a local community development board to invest into the local community, ensuring the business gives back to the community that it serves.
To date, Empower Malawi has set up 7 Energy Hubs across Northern Malawi, and will deliver a further 5 Hubs in conjunction with Next Energy Foundation.