At Musoni, we are lucky to work with a variety of organizations including Microfinance institutions, SME lenders and social enterprises providing assets on credit (asset-finance organisations). Our focus today is on some these fantastic social enterprises offering sustainable products on credit to low-income individuals and their impact in the communities they operate in. In a previous blog post on Tugende, we saw the positive impact of providing motorcycles on a lease-to-own model. Tugende have now helped over 5,000 motorcycle rides in Uganda to own a motorcycle and attain financial independence.
Asides Tugende, Musoni is proud to support Bidhaa Sasa, African Clean Energy, Future Pump and Bicycles Against Poverty with our award winning system. Just like Tugende, these asset-finance organisations use a microfinance model to provide life-changing products to low-income individuals across rural Africa. By using this approach, these companies are able to spread out the cost of their products over time (usually in weekly or monthly installments) making it affordable for their customers.
In the subsequent paragraphs, we highlight the great work of these particular organisations:
Bidhaa Sasa whose name means “Product now!” in Swahili, operates in rural Kenya where the way of life is often difficult resulting from several problems – families use tiny kerosene lamps to light their homes, women cook with firewood from dwindling sources, people walk long distances to fetch unsafe water etc. Products to address these problems exist but are only accessible in towns for cash up-front, making them unattainable.
In order to address these problems, Bidhaa Sasa offers a wide range of products that have strong potential to increase the quality of life, including clean cooking solutions, water filters, solar lamps/systems, and appliances. These products are made accessible and affordable through a combination of last-mile distribution and credit where the cost of a product is spread in monthly installments. Currently serving over 600 customers, Bidhaa Sasa is expanding rapidly, taking advantage of the Musoni app which enables them to register new clients and carry out loan applications in remote areas.
Excitingly, Bidhaa Sasa have recently been accepted as one of ‘Nine East African start-ups to watch‘ in East Africa, and are part of the excellent accelerator program the ‘Unreasonable Institute’.
African Clean Energy provides an innovative cook stove to poor families in rural Lesotho. The cook stove is a solution which addresses the problems caused by indoor cooking smoke and the use of dangerous fuels. Research shows that majority of women and children in developing countries die prematurely from illnesses caused by excessive smoke inhalation.More so, it is not just the health impact that is devastating. The over dependence in fuel to power inefficient cooking leads to massive environmental degradation and binds vulnerable communities to a life of grinding poverty.
For this reason, African Clean energy has developed the Ace 1 Ultra-Clean Biomass cook stove which burns cleanly and has a positive impact on health and the environment. Through microfinance, anyone, regardless of their socioeconomic background, can afford a cook stove that can dramatically improve health, break the vicious cycle of poverty, and significantly reduce CO2 emissions and deforestation.
Bicycles Against Poverty distributes bicycles to women in rural Uganda. This company believes a bicycle is a tool that changes lives. For this reason, they provide bicycles to those in need to help them access clean water, healthcare, schools,better markets etc. using a lease-to-own model.
Since their inception, Bicycle Against Poverty has distributed over 1800 bicycles in 30 communities (in Northern Uganda), impacting over 9,000 Ugandans. Switching to Musoni has enabled BAP to manage their clients and leases and also extend their outreach throughout Uganda and East Africa. As next steps, Bicycle Against Poverty intends to use the Musoni app to reach out to low income individuals in remote areas where bicycles are needed the most.
Cameron Goldie-Scot, Musoni’s CEO, said “fundamentally we’re a social impact company and asset-finance companies have a real and immediate impact on low-income individuals. Its therefore incredibly exciting that Musoni’s out-of-the-box software helps these organisations reduce the cost of their services and expand into more rural communities. This is why we do what we do!“