Empower Malawi is a social enterprise operating within the rural regions of Malawi. We strive to facilitate the development of communities and transformation of lives in a sustainable way, that is centred around our innovative empower business model.
Through our partnerships with local schools, we offer communities sustainable access to clean, renewable energy. Each school is set up as a Community Energy Hub, providing lighting for classrooms whilst also acting as a charging station for people wishing to charge their mobile phones. The Hub also offers the option to rent, on a daily/weekly basis, solar lights that are charged during the day and taken home for use at night by, and fishing lights for night based fishing. This allows access to high quality lighting, at a fraction of the cost of expensive and damaging paraffin fuel.
Each school gains access to electricity for lighting and phone charging, as well as receiving a percentage of the income raised from the rental and charging business. These funds are put into a community fund that can then be used for further development in the surrounding community. To date, we have seen this community fund used to provide lighting to surrounding teachers housing, and run local nurseries amongst other activities.
This centralised Hub allows people living in rural, impoverished areas, the opportunity to get onto the first rung of the energy ladder, allowing them electric lighting in their homes for the first time. In turn, this extends study time, productive labour hours, and replaces the need for expensive and unhealthy kerosene lights. The key to the success of Empower Malawi so far, has been our offering of a low fee, no purchase approach, where consumers can utilise equipment on a nightly/weekly basis, ensuring no high capital outlays for these individuals.