Earthspark International

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Overview

Driving sustainable economic development by providing access to better quality energy services

 

Overview

Headquarters: Port Salut, Haiti and Washington, D.C.
Established: 2008
Impact Areas: Haiti
Type: Nonprofit
Energy Sectors:
  • Power source: Solar Power
  • Power use: Cleaner cooking, off-grid lighting and electricity
Business Model Types:
  • Product Sourcing: Uniform Product, Outsourced Design, Foreign and Local Production
  • Distribution:  In-House salespeople, Microfranchising
  • Affordability:  In-House financing
  • Organization Financing: Grants and Donations, Loans
  • Scaling: New Infrastructure, New Products
  • Social Impact: Scope/Number Reached
Staff Size: 5 full-time staff, 5 volunteer
Annual Budget: $500,000
Major Funders: Deutsche Bank Foundation, United Nations Environmental Programme
Awards: 2010 Recognition at the Clinton Global Initiative Opening Assembly

2011 Echoing Green Finalists

2012 National Geographic Great Energy Challenge

ABOUT

 

EarthSpark seeks to drive sustainable economic development by providing access to better quality energy services.

 

Energy Products/Services

Target Market

  • 1.1 Million un-electrified Haitian households paying more than $10/month on energy services

 

EarthSpark International

Revenue Streams

  • Sales of energy products
  • Grants and Donations

Value Proposition

  • EarthSpark International distributes solar lanterns, solar home systems, clean cookstoves, and other products through local “Enèji Pwòp” stores. These “front line” businesses also provide local hubs for education on the fabrication and production of clean energy technologies.
  • EarthSpark partners with organizers and entrepreneurs to develop local small businesses focused on the distribution of clean energy, building up rural supply chains based on existing networks.
  • EarthSpark works directly with communities to provide access to clean energy technologies that make sense for their needs, through partnership with NGOs, multilateral institutions, and private businesses.

Problem Addressed

  • In Haiti, 75% of the population lacks access to grid electricity and most cook with wood or charcoal.
  • The nightly pervasive darkness is a major issue for the safety of women in Haiti. After the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12th, 2010, reports of violence against women in displacement camps skyrocketed. Women are most vulnerable at night when they walk through the unlit camps to latrines or washing areas.

Where They Are Now

Impact to Date

 

  • 10,000 households served
  • 50,000 end users reached
  • 50 energy entrepreneurs supported by carrying Enèji Pwòp clean energy products

Milestones

  • 2009 Obtained funding to order solar products and launch store ($10K)
  • 2010 Opened clean energy store in Haiti (Enèji Pwòp); performed rapid-response for solar lighting post-earthquake for vulnerable women and girls
  • 2011 Funded as a UN Environmental Programme Implementing Partner to expand clean energy entrepreneurship ($260K)
  • 2012 Named National Geographic Clean Energy Challenge winner microgrid work; expanded to 50 Enèji Pwòp resellers

Growth Plan

  • 2012 Build Haiti’s 1st pre-pay microgrid and expand clean energy retail channel
  • 2013 Build six ‘smart’ microgrids and sell 10K clean energy products
  • 2014 Achieve financial sustainability for retail operations
  • 2015 Surpass 500K Haitians served with high quality energy

How They Deliver

Product Sourcing

  • EarthSpark sources most of its products from external designers and manufacturers, like Nokero.
  • Although EarthSpark’s signature product is Nokero’s Solar Light Bulb, EarthSpark re-brands the light bulb with its own colors and label. This helps Enèji Pwòp’s brand recognition.
  • Some EarthSpark products are manufactured locally, like the Haitian-made “Miracle Stove“.

Distribution

  • EarthSpark worked with a community organization in Les Anglais, a municipality in Haiti with about 25,000 inhabitants, to develop the brick-and-mortar Enèji Pwòp store. This store remains as the place were Haitians in Les Anglais can go to buy clean energy products.
  • EarthSpark’s innovation in distribution is a model in which 50 energy entrepreneurs rent out energy products on a nightly basis. This replicates the small, regular investments Haitians are accustomed to from buying kerosene each night.
  • A third channel of distribution for EarthSpark is Eneji Pwop online. This website allows people living outside of Haiti to send clean energy products to their family and friends in Haiti.
  • These stores also provide the hub for classes on the fabrication and benefits of clean energy technology.

Affordability

  • On average, households in rural Haiti pay 5 HTG (12.5 cents) a night for kerosene per lamp.
  • Although payback period averages 5 months for the purchase of a solar light, with nearly 10% annual savings, EarthSpark’s customers were stuck on the upfront cost.
  • With EarthSpark’s reimagined “rent to own” approach, local entrepreneurs rent out solar lamps nightly for 5 HTG (12.5 cents). This represents nearly an 88% ROI for the retailers, and no change in costs for the renters.
  • 50 energy entrepreneurs are supported by carrying Enèji Pwòp clean energy products.

Financing

  • EarthSpark is funded by a combination of grants, loans, and earned income from product sales.
  • The goal is to become financially sustainable within two years.

Scaling

  • EarthSpark is interested in building retail inventory.
  • The expansion of the rural micro-grid is on the agenda, as is the development of ten new sites.

Social Impact

  • EarthSpark measures its impact in terms of households served, revenue, cost per outcome, and customer satisfaction

More Resources

Online Resources

Contact Information

EarthSpark International
1616 H St NW, Suite 900
Washington DC 20006

* info@earthsparkinternational.org