EnterpriseWorks/VITA - A Division of Relief International (RI/EWV)


Relief International/EnterpriseWorks-VITA (RI/EWV) combats poverty by helping small producers and other entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses that create jobs and increase productivity, market opportunities and incomes. RI/EWV achieves this by expanding access to appropriate technologies, technical assistance knowledge and finance. Relief International/EnterpriseWorks-VITA has a demonstrated track record of mass sales of consumer-oriented designed stoves that use less biomass, reduce indoor air pollution, last longer, and are safer than traditional stoves. In addition to these consumer health and environmental benefits, the manufacture and sale of these stoves provides employment opportunities for actors throughout the stoves value chain in local economies. In combination with financial savings to low-income households from reduced fuel use, this provides an effective means to poverty alleviation. RI/EWV helps establish or expand private businesses in a commercial context for stove manufactures and stove retailers. RI/EWV believes that meeting the essential energy needs of communities, while at the same time preserving or enhancing the environment, plays a critical role in realizing sustained growth and poverty reduction. Through the introduction of fuel efficient cookstoves, wind and solar power, and small-scale village electrification, RI/EWV's Energy projects offer renewable, efficient and clean solutions which encourage improved environments and lower expenses

Organization Type Non-Governmental Organization

Contact Information

Primary Contact
Mr. Jon Naugle
Secondary Contact
Ms. Ann Koontz
Address 1100 H Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC
United States
Website www.enterpriseworks.org
Phone 1-202-639-8660
Calling/Fax Instructions

Our Focus

Primary Initiatives, Target Populations, and Scope of Work:

India - urban, peri-urban and rural households of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states, conducted a survey on purchasing and usage behavior of stoves across geographic and demographic segments, and tested market two prototypes of biomass stoves; Uganda, Kenyan, Ethiopia and Tanzania - assessed regional and national market potential for large-scale private sector biomass stove distribution, carried out targeted studies comparing different local stove products with ones from around the world; Ghana - since 2002, developed value chain for improved biomass cookstoves, carried out household IAP exposure study, and with support from USEPA and Shell Foundation expanded stove production and distribution network, strengthening existing value chain and conducted a survey on IAP exposure levels. RI/EWV has an approved Gold Standard PDD - Gyapa Improved Cook-Stoves in Ghana for premium quality carbon credits.

Fuels/Technologies: Biomass
Sectors of Experience: Agriculture
Carbon Finance
Renewable Energy
Rural Development
Small Business
Countries of Operation: Ghana
Sri Lanka

Our Experience And Interest In The Four PCIA Central Focus Areas

Social/Cultural barriers to using traditional fuels and stoves:

RI/EWV approaches sustainability from a business perspective: activities must serve a real need of its beneficiaries, who signal their genuine interest in them by investing their own capital with the expectation of a greater return. Therefore, assessing social and cultural barriers to using traditional fuels and stoves is a fundamental component of stove technology development and accompanying marketing strategies. In India, using targeted interviews RI/EWV assessed women in the urban, peri-urban and rural settings of two India regions to understand barriers to improving their usage of traditional fuels through improved stoves and find factors leading to a 'tipping point' when consumers switch from traditional biomass fuels to LPG or kerosene. In Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, a Shell funded RI/EWV-led team assessed the profile of IAP impacted users by gender, fuel usage, geographic location, income, product usage, demographics, buying behaviour and needs of customers. With regards to potential products, RI/EWV looked at cooking devices, fuels and price points and carried out focus groups that tested improved cook stove products from other countries (e.g. India, China, Southern Africa) for their potential acceptability within East Africa. In addition, RI/EWV mapped the supply chain for 4 existing products in East Africa that are in the US$5-20 range (e.g. cooking pot, kerosene, wick lamp and imported products) shedding light on the potential for new value chains and the social/cultural hurdles to overcome. In Ghana, RI/EWV’s highly successful stoves program in the Greater Accra and Kumasi area provided valuable lessons about overcoming social barriers that it is using to expand stove production and sales to four new areas targeting more than 80,000 new households and 500,000 Ghanaians per year

Market development for improved cooking technologies:

RI/EWV places a heavy emphasis on marketing so that (a) potential clients are aware of the products and of where to buy them, and (b) profits from the sales of the technologies are significant enough to sustain their production over the long term, beyond the duration of the project that introduced them. Patterned after private sector business marketing strategies, RI/EWV's marketing strategy for its stoves programs utilize radio and television advertising, public demonstrations, and other techniques to familiarize broad audience with the products. For example, in Ghana, stoves have been branded with the name Gyapa, meaning 'good fire' in the local Twi language, and are being marketed with the slogan 'aben da da', meaning, "it's already cooked." The advertising campaign has stimulated substantial consumer demand for over 146,686 stoves representing a 23% penetration of the targeted communities and affecting over 1,000,000 Ghanaians. Established formal and informal market channels are harnessed to affect product distribution. The local stove manufacturers are trained in these techniques and eventually assume responsibility for their own marketing. RI/EWV is responding to the strong demand for the stoves by working with the manufacturers to ensure their quality and capacity.

Technology standardization for cooking, heating and ventilation:

With a focus on preventing lower-quality knock-off stoves that do not provide the same health and consumer saving benefits as the RI/EWV engineered models, RI/EWV constantly reinforces technology standardization practices for manufacturers and retailers while educating consumers to know and recognize the important differences. To accomplish this, RI/EWV trains both ceramicists and stove manufacturers in quality testing procedures, empowering them to conduct random batch tests of ceramic components and to reject any batch that does not pass the quality test. Conducts educational campaigns to alert the consuming public about the presence of counterfeit products on the market, how to spot counterfeit stoves and identify the RI/EWV brands. Assigns special identification marks to each essential component and stove manufacturer that are stamped on both components and stoves respectively enabling traceability of components and stoves to a particular supplier or stove manufacturer

Indoor air pollution exposure and health monitoring:

Along with its partners from Center for Entrepreneurship in International Health and Development (CEIHD), University of California in Berkeley, in 2006 RI/EWV carried out an Indoor Air Pollution Monitoring study which found that the use of the Gyapa wood stove in place of traditional wood stoves in 36 households in Accra resulted in significant reductions in kitchen indoor air pollution concentrations. Twenty-four-hour PM2.5 levels inside the kitchens were reduced by 54% (from 650 to 320 ug/m3) while CO levels dropped by 36%. With funding from the EPA, RI/EWV

Relevant Publications or Studies

The Marketing/Social Marketing Hybrid Approach - EnterpriseWorks/VITA - A division of Relief International

PDD- Gyapa Improved Cook-Stoves in Ghanahttps://gs1.apx.com/mymodule/ProjectDoc/EditProjectDoc.asp?id1=407

Our Contribution to the Partnership

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