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Violet Ayoub's Fundraiser:

Brighter Energy Solutions: Clean air and Jobs for Tanzania

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Violet Ayoub


Hi, I'm Violet!
I lead a nonprofit youth organization called Vision 4 Youth in Arusha, Tanzania we are looking to you to launch our social enterprise -- Bright Energy Africa (BEA). We recognized the need for a green energy alternative to traditional charcoal and firewood in local households and through BEA, we hope to bring clean energy products and services along with employment opportunities to an underprivileged population in our Arusha community.

Our immediate focus is on producing biomass briquettes (I'll tell you what those are in just a minute). We have been producing handmade briquettes out of a small room in my house, using a home-made brick kiln and the sun as a drying agent. So far, we have been able to produce 20kg/day of briquettes and supply over 50 households with their fuel needs. But it is time to step out of that little room and become a powerhouse for Africa, and we want YOU to take that big, bold step with us!

I give you: Bright Energy Africa (BEA) - a social enterprise by Vision 4 Youth

Sustainable Energy
A briquette is quite simply, a block of flammable matter used as fuel to start and maintain a fire. Briquettes are used in fireplaces, stoves, anywhere you need a fire, really. BEA’s biomass briquettes are made from agricultural waste bought from local farmers such as plant leaves, sugarcane bagasse (after juice extraction), maize straw and coconut shells. Briquettes serve as a more sustainable energy alternative to wood and traditional charcoal as they do not require the cutting down of trees. They burn longer and are smokeless, compared to current wood and charcoal fuel that create poor air quality for women and children in households, and release greenhouse gas emissions. 750 acres of forest A DAY can be salvaged with an alternative to firewood!

Employment, Youth & Female Empowerment. With BEA, Vision4Youth hopes to create jobs for local farmers – from whom BEA will purchase agricultural waste - as well as jobs for women and youth - as sales agents of BEA's biomass briquettes.

Why sustainable energy?
Tanzania has lost approximately 15% of its forest cover and more than 37% of its forest and woodland habitat. Seventy per cent of this deforestation is attributable to fuel wood production, while 90% of Tanzanian households continue to use charcoal as fuel. Quite simply, the production of wood charcoal is unsustainable. It causes severe damage to the environment and negatively affects the lives and health of many Tanzanians.

Uncap this human capital.
One of the main reasons potential entrepreneurs never realize their dream business is due to the lack of collateral, guarantees, land tenure, registrations and deeds, which are prerequisites. As an entrepreneur, I currently don't qualify for funding from banking institutions. While micro-finance typically helps address this issue for micro-entrepreneurs, there are limited equivalent resources for the small business space. That's the obstacle, but the good news is ...

Through this crowdfunding campaign, we can expand our production area and purchase production materials to start larger scale production of clean biomass briquettes and create employment.
Funding from this campaign will create the initial capital to cover the upfront costs. Then, starting with this, we aim to produce 1,000 bags of briquettes a month to meet market demand. From then on, with business in operation, BEA can build a track record towards future investment and funding.



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