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Spark+ Africa Fund is Growing!

By February 2, 2023No Comments

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Spark+ team on their third investee! Bidhaa Sasa, which means ‘Products Now’ in Swahili, is a lean start-up based in Bungoma County in Kenya that focuses on goods and services that improve the quality of life for rural families.

Women in rural regions in East Africa today are arguably the most underserved consumers despite playing a vital role in their communities. The founders of Bidhaa Sasa created their company with rural women’s needs, wants, and situations in mind, and as a result, women make up 70% of their clientele. Bidhaa Sasa offers consumer financing to the underserved and unbanked by making all products repayable in manageable installments using handy mobile money transfers. The company distributes life-improving products utilizing direct selling techniques – by women for women. The founders of Bidhaa Sasa are improving the lives of thousands of rural women, as well as providing empowerment and additional income. Their range of products is defined by their clients’ feedback, which ensures that they are consistently providing solutions to urgent and relevant problems.

Bidhaa Sasa works with BioLite, a leading cookstove company with emerging markets operations based in Kenya, to produce a co-branded version of its robust, user-friendly, and high-efficiency JikoMalkia charcoal stove. With the Spark+ funding, Bidhaa Sasa aims to finance the purchase of inventory from Biolite to offer clean cooking solutions to an estimated 68,000 households over the next 2.5 years. Users of a co-branded JikoMalkia stove save time and up to USD 200 per year on fuel costs, in addition to improved health due to reduced indoor air pollution, reduced GHG emissions, and reduced contribution to forest degradation resulting from charcoal production.
“We are pleased to announce this partnership with Spark+ to strengthen and support our distribution of Biolite cookstoves. The loan will secure inventory consisting of thousands of stoves and allow us to make them more affordable with payment plans for women in the rural heartlands of Western Kenya. This deal is a good example of how the international community’s public and private sector actors can work together to improve access to modern energy for those most in need.” Gerald Ngugi, Investment Officer at EQ.