What sets the “Obama” stove apart from the hundreds of other stoves in Africa is how well it works for customers:
- – The quality of the build. Lasts for years.
- – The efficiency. Burns half as much charcoal per meal.
- – The price. Retails for US$10, a payback in <45 days.
Ethiopians know a good deal when they see it. They have to, as even under US$10, that can be half a month’s total income.
Obamastove was founded in 2007 by an Ethiopian refugee, who as a teenager was saved from the fighting and famine at home, fled to Kenya and then was brought to the United States. Rather than remitting cash back to his family, as is the norm, he decided to set up a cookstove company, creating jobs and income for his whole community. Seven years later, the company has grown beyond everyone’s vision, manufactured and selling tens of thousands of stoves per year, over 200,000 in total. Based around a great product which customers love, this bootstrapped, grass-roots business is most certainly the largest cookstove company in Ethiopia, and may just be the largest cookstove company in all of Africa.
Despite the success to-date, far more Ethiopians still cook on three stones rather than on an Obamastove, or any other improved cookstove. With 96 million people living in Ethiopia, and hundreds of millions across all of East Africa, the need stretches beyond 10 million stoves. The goal over the next year is to grow production and sales by 10x, while dropping the price of the stove in half. If you are an impact investor or venture philanthropist and want to help, please contact us.
For tax deductible donations, please visit our partner, Realize Impact