Flemish business angels support energy kiosks in Africa
Flanders’ Business Angels Network is funding a project spearheaded by the Bruges-based company Energy Kiosks to provide rechargeable electric lamps to rural communities in western Africa
Solar energy in Togo
A solar, or energy, kiosk turns sunlight into electricity. The kiosks are installed in rural areas without electricity. Villagers can rent rechargeable lamps from the kiosk and also charge their lamps there, as well as other devices such as mobile phones. Each kiosk is run by a local business, trained by the Bruges company.
Energy Kiosks launched in 2013 after entrepreneur Bert Bernolet spent two years developing the idea through his project Solar zonder grenzen (Solar Without Borders). BAN Vlaanderen became involved a year later, with some of the network’s members setting up a consortium and appointing a representative to the Energy Kiosks board.
“Energy Kiosks is a unique sort of investment, and at the same time an illustration of how risk capital and entrepreneurship can ensure employment, welfare and wealth in developing regions,” said Reginald Vossen, director-general of BAN Vlaanderen. “This project is clear proof that our business angels are prepared to invest in strong enterprise across all borders.”
Photo: Solar zonder grenzen
new wind turbines created in Flanders in 2013
million kilowattage of green energy in 2012
percentage of green energy used in Flanders in 2012