Energy saving cooking stoves in Kenya
BURN provides clean-burning wood and charcoal stoves that reduce pollution and deforestation. [ Photo / Business Today ]

Yunus Social Business on 26th Sept. 2019 announced it has invested in Burn Manufacturing. The deal that is expected to facilitate the expansion of BURN’s energy-saving cooking stoves across East Africa. 

This is the first investment for the Kenyan office of Yunus Social Business, the non-profit venture fund co-founded by the Nobel Peace Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus, the founding father of micro-credit and the social business movement.

The fund aims to invest and support social businesses in Kenya with the primary goal of achieving social impact in a financially sustainable way.

BURN Manufacturing is a clean energy-saving cooking stoves business based in Nairobi committed to designing and building efficient stoves. Their goal is to provide clean-burning wood and charcoal stoves that reduce pollution and deforestation for the two billion people who will inhabit sub-Saharan Africa by 2050. 

“Many households rely upon traditional cookstoves or open flames for cooking and heating,” said Bharat Doshi, one of the founding partners of Yunus Social Business Kenya. “These methods are cost-intensive, create toxic exhausts, and contribute to deforestation.”

BURN’s cooking stoves use 60% less charcoal or firewood and significantly reduce carbon emissions and saves money for users.

To date, BURN has sold over 643,112 stoves saving each family an average of Ksh15,000 a year. It is estimated that 2.6 million tonnes of wood has been saved from being burned due to the stoves. 

Burn sales and production

BURN’s Founder and CEO Peter Scott said Yunus Social Business not only has it provided critical working capital for raw material purchases, but it’s also connected the stove maker to a network of local investors and distributors. “BURN is poised to double sales and production over the next 3 months and this would not have been possible without YSB funds,” Mr Scott said.

BURN is a fantastic first investment for YSB Kenya as they are truly an impact-first business, covering the spectrum of not only social but environmental and economic impact,” Saskia Bruysten, CEO of Yunus Social Business, said.

Kenyan chapter of Yunus Social Business was launched last year with a group of local partners.

“The social business is committed to keeping their manufacturing within Kenya in their state-of-the-art factory and are encouraging female empowerment as all jobs are open to both men and women at all levels – just over half of its workforce are women.” 

The Kenyan chapter of Yunus Social Business was launched last year with a group of local partners. Bharat Doshi, Nilesh Doshi and Vinay Sanghrajka have deeply invested in philanthropy in Kenya for many years. But inspired by the work of Prof Muhammad Yunus, they are bringing the business community of Kenya together to tackle social problems with a business approach.

Founders of Burn Manufacturing

Yunus Social Business has made over 60 investments in Colombia, Brazil, India and Uganda. At present a number of patrons have invested into Yunus Social Business Kenya including, Dr Manubhai Chandaria of Comcraft Group, Niraj Ramesh Shah (Elite Tools), Ashok Shah (Infinity Park), Rafiq Alibhai (Alibhai Shariff), as well as Dr Kaushik Manek and Sachin and Farzana Chandaria of Orbit Chemicals.

Yunus Social Business has offices in Nairobi, Kampala, Sao Paulo, Bogota, Bengaluru, and Mumbai.

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