Social enterprise BioLite, the innovator and leader of off-grid energy solutions, has announced that, through the company’s sustained efforts to reach rural off-grid communities, its clean energy solutions have impacted over a million people in emerging markets.
The milestone is the result of years of user-centred product development, building key last-mile distribution partnerships and utilising a unique business model that leverages a concentrated R&D team while stabilising the path to growth.
As of September 2020, BioLite has reached over 1.4m off-grid individuals across Africa and Asia with its clean cookstove and Solar Home solutions. This reach has more than doubled over the past year alone, indicating a new phase of scale for the social enterprise.
Co-founder and CEO Jonathan Cedar said, “We started this company ten years ago with the belief that everyone deserves access to energy. This milestone is proof that our concept works: that you can pair renewable technologies and an economically sustainable business model to transform the way families living off-grid access essential energy.”
With impact sitting at the heart of BioLite’s business, it’s not only how many people they are reaching but also who they are reaching that matters. In a 2020 report put out by 60 Decibels, an independent social impact measurement firm, BioLite product was listed #1 for impact, reaching the highest percentage of customers accessing energy for the first time.
It was rated also as the #1 top performer among customers on quality-of-life improvement since acquiring a new household energy solution (multiple brands and organisations were included in the survey).
In honour of reaching the benchmark of one million lives impacted, BioLite has been officially welcomed into the 2020 cohort of the Million Lives Club (MLC), an international group made up of innovators and social entrepreneurs that seek to celebrate scalable impact amongst communities living below the poverty line.
BioLite has been recognised as an MLC Vanguard, honouring the work specifically related to impact and innovation with the BioLite SolarHome Series.
The designers and engineers who work on BioLite’s emerging market solutions is the same team that works on BioLite’s award-winning outdoor products, thanks to the unique business model known as Parallel Innovation.
United by a common need for off-grid energy, these two audiences work in tandem to provide a stable revenue stream and scalable impact, giving BioLite the means and momentum to fulfil the vision of energy access for all.
Cedar added, “We share this accomplishment with our outdoor community: every purchase over the last ten years has helped us fund our work creating lasting solutions for off-grid families around the world. We look forward to sharing more stories of impact in 2021 and connecting our outdoor customers even more to BioLite’s mission.”
BioLite has been the recipient of numerous recognitions including Popular Science’s Best of What’s New, Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards, BusinessWeek’s Most Promising Social Enterprise and a nomination for Outdoor Retailer’s Inspiration Awards. Headquartered in Brooklyn, N.Y., the company was founded in 2009 by Jonathan Cedar and Alec Drummond.
Watch the BioLite Lab Tour video. Science and engineering in action – it’s brilliant!