The BUILD Fund invests in Mwezo (Kenya)

Mwezi is a distributor of solar products which improve the health, wealth, and environmental impact of off-grid communities in Kenya. The investment will enable Mwezi to expand substantially into the next wave of solar productive products and into neighboring LDCs (least developed countries).

The BUILD Fund (‘BUILD’), an impact fund created in partnership between Bamboo Capital Partners (‘Bamboo’) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (‘UNCDF’), has made its inaugural investment, providing a USD$500,000 working capital facility for Mwezi Ltd (‘Mwezi’), a Kenyan distributor of solar products.

Mwezi is a last-mile solar energy solutions distributor targeting rural Kenya. The company provides high-quality solar-powered, Lighting Global accredited products. Mwezi offers customers access to these products through a Pay-As-You-Go (‘PAYG’) solution to address the financing barriers that have historically held back low-income households in rural sub-Saharan Africa from affording clean energy.

Mwezi sells and distributes products such as PAYG solar systems, solar lamps, solar fishing lights, energy efficient cookstoves, and solar-powered TVs, radios and torches. The company is product agnostic and offers products provided by leading suppliers such as Greenlight Planet, BioLite and Rural Spark.

Through the distribution of clean energy products, Mwezi provides rural households with access to electricity to replace the use of kerosene for cooking and lighting. Kerosene is an expensive and dangerous source of energy – continued usage leads to serious health implications and a significant negative environmental impact. The poorest African households spend approximately 10-25% of their monthly household income on kerosene.

Mwezi specifically targets low-income households. Nearly half (48%) of the company’s customers live below £3.20 per day, while four in five (79%) are accessing the products it distributes for the first time. The PAYG products are sold on credit, with payment plans lasting from 273 days to 567 days, depending on the product features and pricing.

Mwezi will use the investment from BUILD to drive its expansion into solar productive products and solar agri-business products in Kenya and neighboring LDCs including Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda. The ‘next wave’ of solar products will allow customers to benefit from egg incubators, solar biodigesters, solar drip irrigation systems and solar maize mills, which – depending on the technology – will be sold with PAYG modality or on a cash basis.

Source: BUILD Fund