It is estimated that about 2.4 billion people worldwide cook using open fires or inefficient stoves fueled by kerosene, biomass and coal which generate harmful household air pollution. That is around a third of the global population. Spark+ Africa Fund is a $70 million impact investment fund financing companies that offer next-generation, cooking energy solutions to the mass market in sub-Saharan Africa.
Worldwide one out of three people
rely on polluting cooking methods
Spark+ Africa Fund is a $70 million impact investment fund financing companies that offer next-generation, distributed cooking energy solutions to the mass market in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Deploy debt and equity/quasi-equity to companies throughout the clean cooking sector
- Utilize a flexible toolkit of instruments to grow companies incl. WC finance, inventory/receivables finance, growth capital
- Invest in existing players, attract new entrants into supply chain
- Integrated biofuel/LPG fuel and stove distributors
- Prefabricated biogas system companies
- Biomass fuels producers: pellets, ethanol, char-briquettes
- Industrial stove manufacturers: ethanol, LPG, electric, biomass
- Financing, distribution intermediaries: multi-product last mile distributors, off-grid solar, microfinance institutions
Why is Clean Cooking needed?
In sub-Saharan Africa, 900 million people cook on open fires using, e.g., firewood, charcoal, or kerosene. The negative impacts are predictable:
- Deforestation: estimated 52% loss of forests in Africa due to firewood and charcoal production
- High amounts of indoor air pollution: ~ 25% of black carbon is emitted into the atmosphere
- Health impacts: 600,000 premature deaths annually in sub-Saharan Africa (promoted diseases include pneumonia, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, and lung cancer, resulting in more premature deaths than malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis combined)
- Reliance by households on fuels that are increasingly scarce, expensive, unhealthy, and inconvenient
- Gender inequality: Women are responsible for procuring firewood which takes up to 6 hours per day.
What are the contributions of the Spark+ Africa Fund?
Spark+ Africa Fund is the first investment fund specialized in clean and modern cooking energy. Through Spark+, we invest in innovative, high-impact companies developing technology-enabled solutions to bridge this persistent gap to essential modern energy at the household level in many developing markets.
How is the change to Clean Cooking approached?
One core aim of the Spark+ Africa fund is to promote and support the growth of the Clean Cooking value chain in Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, the creation of industrial and economic development is essential. To accomplish this, the fund provides debt and mezzanine capital to leading cooking companies as biofuels and the production of clean cooking stoves.
How is the change to Clean Cooking in Sub-Saharan Africa maintained?
The Spark + Africa Fund is a joint venture between the fund’s exclusive advisor Enabling Qapital (EQ), and the Netherlands-based foundation Stichting Modern Cooking (SMC). We are partnering with the Clean Cooking Alliance, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation.
“Changing the way that families cook their food each day, will slow climate change, drive gender equality, reduces poverty and provide enormous health benefits.”
Wanjira Mathai (2021)
Clean Cooking is a key driver of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) (United Nations) success as well as the Spark + Africa Fund. Developing a sustainable clean cooking industry contributes to saving lives, empowering women, reducing air pollution, and improving the livelihoods of billions. So how can the Spark+ Africa Fund contribute to that?
Our first investment was in BURN – a Bloomberg Award-winning company.
The innovative Clean Cooking stoves have positive impacts on the environment and health. More than 800,000+ households benefit from BURN’s super fuel-efficient biomass appliances in East Africa. The solar-powered facility currently has a capacity of 100,000 stoves per month and employs over 1,000 people, 50% of whom are women. Jikokoa, one of their charcoal appliances cooks faster than traditional stoves and uses less fuel, enabling children, particularly girls, to dedicate more time to education, instead of cooking. Additionally, one Jikokoa reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 4.46 tons of CO2 per annum and therefore helps to combat climate change.
BURN currently runs a full manufacturing facility in Kenya – the first and only one of its kind. They are now looking to expand to other African countries, launch new products and increase production capacity. By investing in Burn, we are supporting the emergence of a new economic sector in Sub-Saharan Africa that manufactures locally. This is an essential step to ensure sustainable development in Africa.
Enabling Qapital AG
Enabling Qapital AG
Enabling Qapital AG
Place du Grand-Mézel 1
Enabling Microfinance AG