As some might already know, in January 2017 we were honoured to be selected as the best social enterprise in the Netherlands in the Chivas Venture competition! Soon we’ll be travelling to Los Angeles to pitch African Clean Energy (ACE) and our mission in front of an international audience. This is an amazing opportunity to bring energy poverty to the forefront of the conversation.

Chivas is putting up a total fund of $1million to be awarded to the best competitors. $750K will be granted by a selected jury, and $250K will be proportionally divided in an open, online voting competition. We can’t presume that we’ll walk away with the grand prize, but we do know that every online vote contributes to our share of the $250K. We are keen on maximising the value we can get from every dollar you invest. That's why we devised the most impactful projects we can fund, in a modular way so that you know that no penny will be wasted.

Since our focus is enabling stable and independent access to energy to the most underserved customers in the world, we looked at creative ways of reaching them and providing long-term solutions for their energy needs. Our projects are currently focused in Lesotho and Cambodia, regions where approximately 5 million people do not have sustainable access to an energy source:

Project #1

Mobile Tuk-Tuk Shops in Cambodia

We want to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to reach us and own their own ACE 1. As any company, we find it important to establish a strong network of shops, distributors and sales representatives in the markets we operate in. Our priority is helping as many people as possible, as soon as possible, so we want to be able to reach each customer at their front door.

Mobile Tuk-tuk shops in Cambodia can give us fast & easy exposure in areas in which we have not yet established a sustainable supply chain, thus helping us reach the last mile customer sooner. We believe everybody should be able to access clean energy, regardless of where they live. We’ll be able to communicate the location of our travelling roadshow of energy, as well as provide training and maintenance from these little portable hubs of power.

Project #2

Micro-entrepreneurship training for rural women in Cambodia

As a profit for purpose company, we want to bring positive change not only through our product but also through our business operations. We recognise that the approximately 2 million people living off the grid in Cambodia will need help to take advantage of the opportunities a future with access to energy holds for a young society.

We want to energise local economies by encouraging the emergence of small distributors of the ACE 1 in rural regions of Cambodia. Part of supporting local commerce is supporting skill development, and we believe that knowledge about administering operations is a core competency ACE can share with its growing network of collaborators, for mutual benefit.

For this reason, we will begin running micro-entrepreneurship trainings in the areas we are active in. This involves teaching local Cambodians about the most important functions in business such as sales, supply chain control, customer relations, marketing and operations management.

Project #3

Solar-Powered Energy Hubs in Cambodia and Lesotho

In regions confronted with energy poverty, maintaining a steady level of connectivity and communication is not only expensive, but sometimes simply out of reach. The ACE 1 is an excellent solution for clean cooking and charging devices, but it does not cover all the energy needs a household with many members can have.

ACE want to create energy hubs in Cambodia and Lesotho. More precisely, these will be shops that sell energy products and services, therefore making energy more accessible, but also stimulating the emergence of small entrepreneurs in local economies.

Here is a better overview of all we can achieve with the capital earned from votes:

 

If you would like to support us in our journey, please follow the link and cast your vote for ACE!

Voting is open for 5 weeks starting May 8th, and everyone can cast one vote per week. This means that one can vote 5 times, and every single vote makes a difference for our projects. Your participation, however small, adds to our share of the $250,000, to do all the wonderful things we’ve listed above.

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