In many parts of the developing world, people lack access to necessary, affordable and quality products that could improve their quality of life.
Millions of people live off the electric grid. This means they are forced to use unclean and expensive alternatives such as kerosene lamps that affect their respiratory and eye health. Millions more retrieve water from far-off wells or streams, where water-borne illnesses can be life-threatening. Women often spend hours cooking over polluting open fires, cutting short their productive hours in a day.
FINCA’s social enterprises help individuals and communities gain access to clean, affordable, life-enhancing goods and services that save them time and money—making them and their loved ones healthier, more resilient, and empowered to strengthen their lives and communities.
FINCA is creating a distribution channel to reach unserved and underserved markets—targeting rural, low-income, and poorly educated populations—which are often neglected because they are difficult to reach and uneconomical to serve. We are working with local leaders and training local youth as community mobilizers to provide employment opportunities and help them recognize their potential as agents of positive change, raising awareness among their peers about the benefits of clean energy and water solutions. And we are providing low-income customers with affordable financing options so that they can purchase life-enhancing products. We are also using data to develop credit profiles for customers, allowing us to expand our financial inclusion efforts.
Our social products include:
- A simple solar lantern helps clients extend their business hours, gives light for children to study, and eliminates the daily costs and tolls of a hazardous kerosene lamp. We are exploring how to make solar energy systems available to more families and small businesses, by creating partnerships with solar companies. FINCA is helping small enterprises to scale by providing financial solutions to end users and enterprises. See our BrightLife program »
- Millions of households across the world use harmful fuels to cook their meals. The cost of cooking with solid fuels adds up to $123 billion per year worldwide in health and environmental damage. The efficient cookstoves that BrightLife is providing reduce harmful emissions and cook food much faster than an open fire. With a clean cookstove, women can typically save more than 10 hours a week compared to using an open fire, while reducing fuel costs and deadly smoke inhalation.
Water Purification Products
- Many family members spend hours walking to far-away water sources, such as open wells and running rivers. However, this water can be contaminated with deadly diseases. Water purification products can significantly reduce the incidence of diarrheal disease in children, the top cause of infant mortality worldwide.
FINCA is in the early stages of identifying product needs, which will vary from community to community and from country to country.