press Release

Cookstove Enterprises Split $2 million Fund to Spark Global Clean Cooking Market


Kuala Lumpur (May 29, 2013) –  The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves announced today that five of its partners will share a $2 million fund to spur the creation of a global market for clean, safe, efficient, and affordable cooking solutions. The Spark Fund is a key element of the Alliance’s strategy to strengthen supply and enhance demand in the clean cooking sector through innovation and entrepreneurial capacity development, including helping businesses become more investment-ready.

A global market for clean cooking solutions is necessary because 3 billion people still cook with solid fuels each day. When burned in open fires and basic cookstoves, wood, coal, charcoal, and other solid fuels emit a harmful smoke that claims 4 million lives annually through a range of diseases and injuries – making household air pollution from cookstove smoke the fourth greatest health risk in the world.

“From the outset, the Alliance realized that a market for clean cookstoves and fuels was the only way to effectively respond to such an entrenched, global problem as inefficient and dangerous cooking practices,” said Radha Muthiah, executive director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “The five winners have a strong track record of results in their respective countries and markets, and have demonstrated that they can leverage the Spark Fund to attract new partners and investors to advance their ongoing efforts to save and improve lives, enhance livelihoods, and protect the environment through clean cooking solutions.”

The five Spark Fund winners are as follows:

Burn Manufacturing Co. (BMC) in Kenya: BMC has developed a facility in Nairobi to assemble cookstove kits produced in China. In 2013 BMC will start the development of a complete manufacturing facility in Kenya and will transition, over a 12 month period, to full local production. BMC will also utilize Spark Fund to purchase manufacturing equipment, and leverage up to $4 million in loans from General Electric and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). The production target is 237,000 cookstoves.   

EzyLife in Kenya:
The Spark grant will help EzyLife supply 40,000 cookstoves to the Kenya market in 2013, and significantly reduce EzyLife’s financing costs, thus making clean cookstoves more affordable and enabling the company to leverage additional investments to sell another 70,000 cookstoves within 12 months. The grant will also be used to recruit and train distribution channel partners, and leverages EzyLife’s existing marketing activities.

Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP) in Kenya:
With the Spark Fund, GVEP will provide capacity building to cookstove entrepreneurs to improve their technical, business and marketing skills, and establish a seed fund for producers to invest in expansion activities. The Spark Fund will help GVEP leverage $800,000 of Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) funding specifically focused on improved cookstoves in Kenya; increase the impact of the CARE2 (Capital Access for Renewable Energy Enterprises) project; and provide vital support for technical capacity building, better product design and manufacturing practices, and evaluation of potential of carbon finance.

Impact Carbon in Uganda:
With the Spark Fund, Impact Carbon will establish and support a national network of distribution and retail partners that will help drive a thriving cookstove market in Uganda. Impact Carbon will partner with BioLite to implement a full scale product launch of BioLite’s HomeStove, a new fan stove that reduces household air pollution while enabling phone and light charging. Impact Carbon will launch innovative marketing campaigns to establish product awareness and consumer finance programs to drive adoption and long term usage. Impact Carbon’s goal is to leverage initial support from the Spark Fund to achieve commercial viability after year 2 of the program.

Relief International—Gyapa Enterprises in Ghana:
Gyapa Enterprises will use the Spark Fund investment to further grow the Ghanaian cookstove sector by leveraging its brand and proven platform to produce, distribute, and market fuel efficient stoves at scale. Gyapa Enterprises is developing a new charcoal stove model with improvements in both fuel efficiency and burning cleanliness that will be trademarked by Gyapa Enterprises. Once the stove is developed and tested, Gyapa Enterprises will use its platform to scale localized production, distribution and sales of the new stove.

The Alliance received 78 proposals for the Spark Fund, and each was rigorously reviewed and analyzed by a panel of 6 experts from the clean cooking sector. The Alliance plans to issue the next Spark Fund call for proposals in September, making it an annual grant award.

The Spark Fund is made possible by Alliance donor partners Royal Dutch Shell plc, and the Governments of Sweden and Germany.

“Without the support of donors and investors, the clean cooking sector would be unable to meet the challenge that nearly half of humanity still cooks as their ancestors have done since the beginning of human history. I would like to thank Shell, Sweden, and Germany for their ongoing, robust support of the Alliance and its partners and for sharing our belief that ‘cooking shouldn’t kill’,” said Muthiah.


Media Contact:
Sean Bartlett | | +1.202.419.6401

About the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves:
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The Alliance’s 100 by ‘20 goal calls for 100 million households to adopt clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. The Alliance is working with its public, private and non-profit partners to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production, deployment, and use of clean cookstoves in developing countries. For more information, please visit