Two local startups compete for Rwf490m in Green Challenge

Two Rwandan startups have reached the finals of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, a global competition that attracts startups whose solutions aim to reduce greenhouse emissions.

African Renewable Energy Distributor (ARED) and EarthEnable are among the five global green finalists that are competing for the grand prize of 500,000 euro (about Rwf491.7m).

Globally, five startups are in the final

ARED is a local startup that developed the Shiriki Hub, a mobile solar kiosk, that seeks to bring low-cost connectivity and energy services to Africans.

Henri Nyakarundi, a solar-energy entrepreneur, is the brains behind this solution and his company operates under a micro-franchising system that leases the kiosks to agents.

“Next month I’m travelling to Amsterdam and I am definitely excited for us to be among the finalists. This is a great opportunity not just to meet investors but also networking. We shall present our business plan to more than 500 people, and believe we are ready since it’s not the first time,” he said.

Nyakurundi’s project has previously been nominated for energy innovation awards and grants by the likes of Microsoft, MIT, and ICT for Social Good, to name a few.

Today, the startup runs about 30 solar-powered carts and it plans to open doors in Uganda in May.

On the other hand, EarthEnable is a social enterprise that provides an alternative in the form of sustainable, clean, and waterproof earthen flooring, which makes homes cleaner and healthier at a much lower price for the customer and the environment.