Vitalite, a social enterprise in Zambia, are trying to address environmental and health issues by providing alternatives to charcoal with clean tech.
Location: Lusaka, Zambia
Volunteers: Melissa Hamalambo, Emmanuel Muntanga, Helen Wright, Edward Lowe
This case study provides an example of the ideal Challenges Worldwide impact – an enterprise which is providing employment and training for a range of people, is having a social impact (in this case health and environmental) and is profitable – ensuring sustainability and growth options. This is then combined with an exceptional experience for the volunteers, resulting in employment for our ICVs and continued engagement with global issues for all volunteers.
Deforestation is a huge issue in Zambia, with over 250,000 hectares of forest cleared every year – a significant proportion of this to create charcoal for fuel. This is hardly surprising with only 26% of the population having access to electricity and frequent ‘brownouts’ resulting in no electricity for up to eight hours at a time. Charcoal provides the cheapest form of energy, but this has a devastating effect on the environment and people’s health.
Vitalite, a social enterprise in Zambia, are trying to address these issues by providing alternatives to charcoal – through efficient cook stoves, sustainable fuel, and solar solutions. In 2014 Vitalite impacted over 3,000 households and 15,000 people, this was before the introduction of their pay as you go system which has increased their reach even further and has huge potential. The largest company of this kind, M-KOPA in Kenya, has connected 400,000 homes to affordable solar power – demonstrating the huge potential of this kind of intervention.
Project OPTIMA has been setup by Challenges Worldwide volunteers working with Rainland Timber in Kitwe, Zambia.
OPTIMA stands for Organic Propagation Through Independent Micro-franchise Agents; we want to help our fuel efficient, clean cooking stoves organically propagate throughout Zambia by utilising a micro-franchising business model.
Deforestation is a critical issue in Zambia. Our solution, known as Project OPTIMA, has the potential to let Zambians overcome this environmental disaster and the first step to success is your help. What is project OPTIMA? Organic Propagation Through Independent Micro-Franchise Agents. In the developing world, micro-franchising business models have seen significant success. They empower the grassroots level of society to take ownership of providing commonly used goods to consumers everyday. We developed the idea of using this model from existing cases in Zambia, such as MTN and Airtel network providers, who have seen success selling mobile phone credit from the urban jungles to the deep rural bush. Even the government owned corporate giant ZESCO use a micro-franchise business model in Zambia.
Our aim is to select agents such as women’s groups to sell the stoves and wood fuel to their local community. For the pilot scheme we will create a micro-franchisee package for each agent, which will include:
From the small back office at Mukwa Lodge, I have spent my days watching the staff attend politely to the guests in the picturesque restaurant courtyard. It’s easy to see the value that the business creates for its customers.
The company I’ve been placed in for three months is known for supplying luxury accommodation and high-quality restaurant meals to businesses, tourists and NGO clients both within Zambia and internationally. It’s interesting to find out the value chain relationship from the other side; what benefit is Mukwa Lodge having on its locally based staff, the suppliers of their fresh produce and the environment.
When you first arrive at the lodge you can’t help but admire the multitude of beautiful artwork displayed throughout the premises. Mr. Patel, the owner of Mukwa, proudly informed me that every piece of artwork here is from Zambia. Bought in the capital Lusaka and brought to the Copperbelt to be displayed, the collection of this artwork has helped the local artists of Zambia to continue their difficult trade. In addition, it shows incoming guests the potential that Zambian people have to immortalise their heritage and history in a valuable and artistic way.
In a country with a high unemployment rate, the lodge is trying along with many other businesses in Kitwe to reduce this growing problem. All of the staff is employed from the local area, apart from a couple of friendly Nepalese chefs and a Scandinavian manageress. With a new lodge being built across the road by local building traders, soon they will be able to employ even more local people in desperate need of a job; a trend they hope to continue as their company grows into new establishments across the country.
Locally sourced produce
The lodge’s restaurant is known for serving the best Indian food in the whole city. Why is it so good? Well apart from the fantastic chefs, the answer lies in the locally bought produce. Once or twice a week Mr. Niure from the kitchen will head down to Chisokone market in the centre of Kitwe and buy fresh fruit and veg to incorporate into the much sought after Indian and Portuguese dishes available. The vendors in the market, in turn, get the produce from nearby farmers in the area. Mukwa even home-grow some produce at another nearby guesthouse. Not only is this way of buying from suppliers better for their carbon footprint, it’s helping grow the local economy grow and keeps the suppliers in business. Buying locally is a positive step to ensure the community is flourishing rather than crippling to larger, wealthier corporations.
Finally, the newest vision of Mukwa’s value chain lies in renewable energy. At present Kitwe and Zambia are experiencing load shedding (For more information regarding “load shedding” read previous Challenges Worldwide volunteer, Ed Lowe’s blog “holding-back-businesses-load-shedding-stopping-zambias-development”) on a daily basis. The lodge currently has to tackle this problem by using diesel generators to keep the power running: a process that is not healthy for the business or the environment. But across the road builders are hard at work finishing the new addition to the business, a lodge that will not only bring in more business and jobs but will rely on their solar geysers and panels to help heat and power the lodge, no matter what the energy situation and at little cost to the already damaged climate.
Hopefully, Mukwa Lodge can be a leading role model in creating a prosperous, sustainable Zambia in the near future.
As Storm Katie caused havoc across England, headlines shout of the disastrous results of the powerful winds. The BBC reported that more than 200,000 homes were without power at the height of the storm, and 27,000 were still without access to electricity the next day.
It is impossible to not draw the connection to load-shedding and poor access to electricity whilst living in Lusaka. Eight-hour outages of power per day are driven by not enough supply to meet the exploding demand, disrupting personal, professional and social lives of all its inhabitants. This is without considering the 96% of the rural population that have no access to grid power at all.
Of all the impacts, perhaps the least discussed within the Zambian media is the effect on small and medium sized businesses. For Lusakan entrepreneurs, the constant struggle for electricity and the disastrous effect on their business is usually accepted with a shrug of the shoulders, powerless to impact the government-owned supplier ZESCO who operate the grid. But the impacts on their business are huge.
The effects are many. Productivity falls as employees lack the basic access to computers and internet for large proportions of the day. This reduces the speed of work, confines the hours that can be worked in daylight, and limits the complexity of tasks that can be completed to those needing only paper and pen. Combine this with the inability to run machinery, and manufacturing methods are reduced to pre-industrial revolution levels of productivity. Meanwhile the cost of employment remains the same, making it harder for businesses to afford new employers; contributing to Zambia’s burgeoning unemployment problem.
There are solutions to ensure electricity reaches the office. The most common solution is the purchase of a generator, which can be used when the grid power goes off. But the cost of the generator is often prohibitive to new emerging businesses, for whom capital is a problem anyway. Once the generator is installed, the cost of petrol (which has more than doubled in the past 12 months) also makes it costly to run. This puts new business at a big disadvantage compared to bigger incumbents, reducing competition in the capital. To further compound the problem, load-shedding can be notoriously unpredictable.
Although ZESCO schedules for a certain time each day, this eight hour period changes and guidelines should be treated as tentative at best. This unpredictability further hinders the ability of businesses to plan, creating uncertainty that undermines their solid foundations. A more organised and better plan for outages would provide huge improvements, albeit not solve the problem outright.
We treat reliable power as a basic necessity of doing business in the United Kingdom, and something which should be expected. This is why headlines after storms are so attention grabbing. To kick-start its private sector and have a new offspring of exciting businesses in a range of fields, Zambia needs to find a solution to load-shedding. Otherwise its development will be severely stunted, and the leash will remain firmly on the country’s growth prospects.
“So what exactly will you be doing in Africa and what precisely does a team leader do?” These are questions that I have been asked many times before, during and after my placement. It’s also a question that I asked myself a lot before I boarded my flight to Lusaka, Zambia to be a team leader with Challenges Worldwide.
I knew I wanted to volunteer abroad whilst building leadership skills that would be useful to my learning and development as a consultant. After some intensive googling I came across Challenges Worldwide and thought it was a perfect match. Challenges Worldwide is a pioneering social enterprise that offers volunteers the opportunity to work with small to medium sized enterprises on 12 weeks placements. It was everything I was looking for in a volunteer placement; building upon my consultancy experience to lead a team to deliver sustainable changes. As I excitedly submitted my application little did I know the adventure I had just signed up to?
Being a team leader is both incredibly challenging and rewarding. One of the main challenges I faced was adapting my management and training style to the different personalities, experiences and cultures. This was especially true for delivering the weekly Chartered Management Institute (CMI) learning sessions. These sessions were an excellent opportunity for volunteers and team leaders to be trained to an internationally recognised standard on core consultancy skills. However, as a facilitator it was often challenging to cover the basic business fundamentals whilst keeping those with business experience still engaged. I learned to link the theory and tools with how I have used these in my job as a consultant. I also ensured that CMI classes were interactive through group discussions, activities and exercises that combined useful practical learning with vocational training
As much as we had many challenges, we also had many successes. One of my proudest moments was watching the Mid Programme Review (MPR) presentations. At the MPR presentations the teams present on their work to date in their enterprises, including their challenges, successes and findings. To add to the pressure they were presenting to a panel of industry experts including the Department for International Development (DFID) who would ask questions and provide feedback. As much has the team had prepared and practiced in advance everyone was nervous as presenting to a room of 50 isn’t an easy job, especially to a panel of experts! However there was no need for all the nerves as it was an excellent day and as a team leader it was an amazing opportunity to reflect on the progress and growth of the volunteers. To see how much they had learned and achieved over such a small period of time was incredibly rewarding.
Through my experience as a team leader I have enhanced and developed many skills that are hugely transferable to my job as a management consultant. Prior to this placement I would have called myself a good manager, but not a leader. However, the role as a team leader is essentially a free, intensive, three month leadership training course. It has taught me so much about leadership and the importance of developing and inspiring.
This experience has also being incredibly rewarding from a cross cultural experience. By living in a host family and having a Zambian counterpart it was an amazing opportunity to be fully immersed in the local cultural and ways of life. This has helped teach me the importance of cross cultural differences and truly highlighted the needs to be adaptable, flexible and understanding. Yes, every country has different cultural norms and approaches which can be daunting as well as frustrating – but these differences should be embraced and celebrated. This is an incredibly important skill in today’s interconnected global world.
I equally learned the importance of admitting when you don’t know the answer. As a team leader you generally do get bombarded with questions from bus routes, exchange rates, supply chain theory to even the chances of rain today (and I am most definitely not a weather woman!). To be a good team leader you don’t need to know everything – realistically we are still volunteers and we are learning as we go the same as the team. If you don’t know the answer – that is fine – you just need to work through the problems logically and ask for help when you need it. In a group of 42 there are always going to be other people that can help and support you and that you can learn from.
I still can’t quite believe that my three month placement is over. It has been one of the most challenging, frustrating, enlightening and rewarding things I have ever done. When I applied I thought it would be a great opportunity to gain real life leadership experience and enhance my CV whilst experiencing a different culture. Little did I realise how much I would truly learn and that it would spark new career interests. I plan to continue within consultancy, with much more of a focus on training and learning and development. In working with Challenges Worldwide, I’ve learned that leading and managing volunteers is hard work, but rewarding. I would recommend this programme to anyone wanting to explore their leadership potential while discovering the beauty and diversity of Africa.
The aim of the Challenges Worldwide ICS (International Citizen Service) programme is to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa to expand, in turn improving developing countries’ economies and alleviating poverty. I believe this is the best approach to tackle poverty as teaching people to help themselves will have a sustainable benefit as opposed to giving free handouts, which countries come to rely on.
During my time in Zambia, I have experienced how friendly the people are, enjoyed the slower pace of life and have seen some amazing things, however, I have also seen the extremely negative impact of free handouts given. For example, foreign developed countries send millions of mosquito nets to Africa every year. However, most communities do not actually use mosquito nets to protect themselves from malaria because they do not see malaria as a big deal. Most Zambians I have spoken to compare malaria to having the flu. In 2006 every 1 in 250 people that had malaria actually died. The mosquito nets sent are instead used to catch fish, make wedding dresses and for chicken run fencing. Because there are chemicals on the mosquito nets, using them for fishing is contaminating the natural waters and fish having an extremely adverse effect on the environment and possibly the people consuming the fish. If the mosquito nets are not being used for their purpose, we need to find a new way of preventing malaria.
Another main issue caused by countries sending free items, such as clothes, shoes and food, is that it is making it impossible for businesses in the country to thrive. There is no need to manufacture these items and, if businesses did, they would never be able to compete with the provision of free products. This is because if businesses were to produce these goods they would obviously incur manufacturing cost. Therefore, would need to price the products accordingly to make a profit in order to keep their businesses operating.
I am not implying that more developed countries should not help less developed countries. People just need to take more care and time to research and analyse what would be the best way to help a country experiencing poverty in the long term. For example, as the mosquito nets being sent are used for fishing, why don’t we create a fish farming programme and pay a business in the country to provide fishery equipment? The programme would not only inject funds into the business providing the equipment but more importantly help entrepreneurial farmers to establish fish businesses and feed their communities. This would be really useful since there is currently a 50,000 mt annual deficit of fish in Zambia alone.
I believe that the main problem is that no one seems to be following up on the use and affect of the free supplies sent, which appears to be a crucial step missing in these foreign charitable deeds.
It would have a hugely positive impact on supporting the further development of the economy if charities thoroughly investigated each countries issues and worked in a coordinated way to develop a coherent strategy based on the evidential information acquired to provide aid where needed that supports sustained economic growth in the medium and long term.
Emma Peet on her Challenges Worldwide, ICS placement:
“I took part in ICS because I wanted to immerse myself in a completely new culture whilst applying my marketing skills to an SME where I could make an impact. The format of the programme appealed to me; live with a host family to experience the true Zambian experience and work alongside a Zambian counterpart. 12 weeks was also a good length of time to settle and feel like I could make a difference.
Before I came on placement I had worked in full-time employment for three years. My job prior to this was a Marketing Officer role at the University of Derby. This involved overseeing all marketing activity for the Collegeof Health & Social Care, with line management responsibility.
My placement was a great learning curve; working at Cutting Edge gave me an invaluable insight into the workings of a very successful public relations company, and I was able to help with day-to-day operations such as the creation of media strategies for clients. For example, we were able to assist Cutting Edge with the event management of the launch of Zambia’s first ever iStore; working with clients such as Apple has been a real privilege.
Harriet and I also contributed to the daily monitoring of media to compile media reports. Our fellow colleagues were extremely helpful and open to questions, which really aided our learning. As the weeks progressed, Harriet and I took on more consultancy work, and we learnt how to compile reports in a variety of areas, such as social media competitive analyses and staff training opportunities. Much of this was done through our own initiative, which was a rewarding process. The CMI programme has been helpful at times to put our consultancy work into perspective; for example, the formatting and flow of our competitive analysis reports on social media. CMI (Chartered Management Institute Qualification) has also been helpful for considering different models for analysis, such as the SWOT analysis. My counterpart hadn’t worked in an office environment before the programme, so we worked together to delegate tasks to fit each of our individual skillsets.
The consultancy aspect of the programme has taught me the value of stepping back from problems before tackling them. I hope to put this into practice in the future as I now understand the value of doing so. I am very interested in a career in PR so I will be able to apply the skills I’ve learnt as a PR practitioner in my future career.
Prior to the programme, I was a confident and able person, who felt comfortable around new people. I wasn’t especially happy in my previous job; I had a lot of responsibility and was losing my passion for what I was doing. I saw ICS as an opportunity to apply my marketing skills in an entirely new environment, to help those that need it most. I now have a renewed sense of enthusiasm for marketing and PR, and by realising its dynamic nature, I am positive about the new places my marketing skills could take me. Being on the programme I now feel more comfortable around new people, in both working and personal environments. Having never stayed abroad for longer than a month prior to this programme, I now have more drive than ever to explore and live in new parts of the world. The ICS team has made me realise that people who want to work abroad are often like-minded and conscientious people, and that any difference in age is insignificant. It’s reassuring to know that there will always be opportunities to undertake similar things with a community of enthusiastic people around you.
I believe that I’m now more employable, as I now have practical experience in consultancy which I didn’t have before. This is very different from work I’ve done before as I wasn’t reporting to a manager at work, but instead working autonomously to determine what the business would benefit most from.
The fact that I have worked in a fast-paced agency environment with renowned clients such as Apple, and the internationally recognized CMI qualification, and the experience of working in a developing country, I will undoubtedly be more attractive to potential employers.
ICS has taught me that everything has to adapt to change in order to develop; including myself as an individual and the business I have worked with. During my time at Cutting Edge, three employees left the business to develop their personal careers, which was respected by the CEO; development is an essential endeavor to succeed. In the tough financial landscape of Zambia, it is more important than ever that businesses develop to attract new customers. I am happy that I’ve been able to contribute to the development of Cutting Edge PR’s strategies, through assisting with their social media. Staff development has played a crucial role in my ICS experience; we’ve trained staff on social media and website building, and recommended specialist training and suggested an away day agenda. Realising the importance of staff development has been the key driver behind these activities.
I have applied for a visa to work in Canada for up to 24 months with International Experience Canada. I was considering doing this before starting the programme, but living and working in a completely new environment and feeling a great sense of fulfillment has confirmed to me that there is always more to learn from living and working somewhere different.
I have always wanted to work for a marketing agency, and having the opportunity to do this should stand out to potential employers. I have only ever worked for an in-house marketing team before, and having worked with different clients will hopefully prove to be a real asset. I would also now consider doing more consultancy work; this is something I’ve thought about but wanted to build experience beforehand. This is a medium to long term goal if consultancy work is something I want to pursue.”
Check out the iStore that Harriet and Emma helped to launch here!
And for more info, follow the link to Cutting Edge’s website where you can read the press releases produced during their placements.
LST Industries, leading tissue manufacturer in all of Southern Africa! Hmm not quite. Maybe someday. At the moment however, LST Industries is just a small enterprise running out of the same lot as the owner’s (Mrs Sibanda) other business, Norwich Insurance Brokers, and supplies tissues to just the small nearby area of Lusaka. Obviously it’s a long way to go from there to become even Lusaka’s main tissue manufacturer, but if the Zambian’s I have worked and lived alongside have taught me anything, it’s the ability to dream big.
Our first day was a lot to take in, and maybe somewhat overwhelming. Chapa, my Zambian counterpart, and I introduced ourselves to Mrs Sibanda, and talked to her about what we hoped to achieve, and what she wanted out of us. Although I didn’t really think about it as such at the time, this was our first taste of being consultants, and the first stage of our “Client Relationship”, which we would go on to learn about in our weekly CMI courses.
There were some difficulties or complications, it must be said – although she knew what we were there for, she also thought we would help on the factory floor, actually producing the tissues. Ah, this will be the managing expectations part of consultancy that had been mentioned. We politely conveyed that while we would of course be happy to help out in all areas of the business, she should understand that our role shouldn’t be as extra workers for a few months. After all, the long term benefit of that would be minimal, and when we departed, the business would go back to being the same as before. She seemed to understand, and agree, although she did proceed to provide us with steel toe-capped boots and coats for when we were working on the floor… one step at a time, I suppose. In fact that’s another thing I have learnt – progress is going to take a lot longer than you think, so celebrate the little victories.
In our first couple of weeks, we spent our time talking to the staff and trying to get started on the work, looking for ways we could help improve the company. We had lots of ideas; we saw how their record keeping could be made better and also their sales procedure. I spent the first week looking at a lot of financial data, which, I cannot lie, took me a long time to interpret. After some time though, although it felt like we had gathered loads of information, we still needed to do something with it, and make it presentable. It was here a part of the CMI course sprung to mind, about actually doing stuff with your data – it’s no use having a lot of data if it doesn’t mean anything, and I think this was a mistake we made in our first few weeks. Slightly unsure of how to have the best positive impact, we used somewhat of a scattergun approach, hoping to find something that would stick. We thought about it some more, and I used our observations of production to work produce a report on how effective the machines were and, happily, found that we could show were certain inefficiencies in the production process. From now on we would try to be more focused on our goals, and not get overwhelmed in trying to do too much.
Another thing we failed to do early on was organise meetings with our boss. We were in a new company; I personally was in an entirely new continent, so perhaps we were a little too timid. However, we have learnt, through our own experience and also as part of the course, how important it is to have a strong relationship with your boss/client, in order to ensure we are actually helping her in a way that she agrees with. Initially for example, I came up with a way that we could improve production, by possibly changing the specifications of the final product. It seemed perfect to me, the product itself would be barely altered, and they could increase production by about 5-10% with barely any effort. I got a little carried away with this, and ran through quite a lot of calculations about how much this could save. However, it was not until later that I presented this idea to Mrs Sibanda. Although she was impressed, she said it was basically not possible due to restrictions on the machine and customer requirements. This was obviously disappointing, but if I had mentioned this to her earlier I could have spent my time on something more useful.
From then on we strived to meet more frequently with Mrs Sibanda, in order to ensure a productive time here. As it was, she was much more concerned about worker idleness and safety than the ins and outs of production. With this knowledge, we were able to produce a schedule and set of rules to ensure the workers were always busy, and we got some basic safety signs made to ensure the customers and the workers were safer. This took little time, but Mrs Sibanda was very pleased with the results; we had been focussed on ways we could have hopefully a bigger impact, and these signs and schedules felt small, but like I said, one step at a time.
As it is, a 10 week consultancy is obviously a very short amount of time to significantly improve a business such as ours, and to be frank, I’m not sure if LST will be the Hungry Lion* of tissue manufacturing by the time we leave. However learning about consultancy through both direct experience and as part of the CMI, I see now how we can help the company, even by doing seemingly small things, it is all part of giving the company foundations on which to grow in the future.
*The McDonalds of Zambia fast food, they are everywhere. I’m actually sat in one now, as I type this.”
To see some Changemaker stories from the last two years please visit our Blog
Before embarking on my International Citizen Service Entrepreneurship placement in Lusaka, Zambia, I had little knowledge of sustainable business, and even less knowledge of its potential to complexly contribute to development. I certainly did not expect that the enhancement of said knowledge would come from consulting a business in the hospitality industry. However, the ripple effect of changes in business operations is eye-opening in developing industry sectors such as tourism and hospitality in Zambia, and it is in this sector that business efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability will help not only the company in question, but also its surrounding community and associated supply chain.
My placement, Lui Guest House, is a small, family-owned lodge in the heart of Lusaka, drawing in local and international clients alike to provide quality and affordable accommodation. Alongside accommodation, it supplies restaurant services and outside hire of certain parts of the guest house. At the other end of the spectrum, it is a consumer of products and services to support its operations – some established supply chains, such as electrical power, and some variable, such as food ingredients and cleaning products, subject to budgets and availability. It was the role of the business as a consumer which brought about some of the most long-term changes implemented during our placement; we used the consumer position of Lui Guest House to create a unique selling point for the business and the services it provides: environmental responsibility (or, as some might call it, eco-friendliness).
Picture this: a buzzing urban tourism industry in the capital, dominated by expensive hotel chains and backpacker hostels. State-of-the-art facilities and services provide for the corporate traveller, while affordable prices and friendly hostel environments provide for the exploring volon-tourist. At the middle of this range, you have guest houses – reliable, affordable, sensibly located accommodations, with quietly sufficient services such as WiFi, simple and hearty restaurant menus, hand-washed laundry and breezy back gardens. They cannot afford to invest in oak-panelled conference facilities, nor gourmet restaurant meals. How can they appear as unique in the face of their competition? Our starter-for-10 solution for Lui Guest House combined a unique selling point with a real challenge faced by all Zambians these days: lack of electricity.
Zesco, the state-owned electrical generation company which holds a quasi-monopoly of power provision services, has been battling with low rainfall levels over recent years, leading to a lack of hydro-electric power generation and hence scheduled power cuts amounting up to 12 hours per day. Obviously, this is a huge challenge for a business whose customer relations rely on phones and internet, and whose customer satisfaction relies on the provision of lighting, TV facilities and running water via a powered borehole. By addressing this challenge, not only does the guest house gain a competitive advantage in its market segment, but also a unique selling point, in line with recommendations of the Zambia Tourism policy to promote environmentally sound operations in the tourism industry, as well as the development of eco-tourism.
Conversations with the business owners of the guest house led to a trial being implemented in what will hopefully be a long-term conversion to off-grid solar power. A solar panel has been installed, providing lighting and power for the communal TV in the main building of the accommodation, with plans being made for additional panels to be installed in the main administrative area and the borehole, to ensure consistent provision of electricity and maintain the environmental responsibility of the business. By carrying out these changes, the business becomes part of a new, more responsible supply chain – that of alternative energy, an industry which is rising rapidly in Zambia and has enormous development potential, not least for rural areas such as the Southern Province’s Chikanta Chiefdom, where the provision of solar power has greatly enhanced the performance of educational and healthcare facilities. In this sense, the alignment of Lui Guest House with this new supply chain creates exactly the ripple effect described above – the injection of trade dynamics and income into a responsible and necessary industry; the consumer choice leading to sustainable development.
An increase in business efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability, through a move towards alternative energy use, is coupled with a positive community impact, through the raising of awareness of solar power, as well as a robust contribution to a responsible supply chain. The added benefits of eliminating the challenge of Zesco’s unreliable power supply and improving customer relations are proof that business sustainability generates profit through increased effectiveness, and contributes to the responsible development of the tourism industry, one of Zambia’s most promising economic sectors, but also the most vulnerable to unsustainable development.
To see some Changemaker stories from the last two years please visit our Blog