First off - let us start by saying Thank You. Thank you for your support of BioLite and wanting to help make an impact by providing clean cooking solutions to communities who need it most. Clean cookstove distribution is a global challenge and requires long-term, scalable solutions; Ethan answers best in his video below:
BioLite recently spoke about its emerging markets work at the Millennium Development Goal Countdown on a special USAID panel. It discussed the critical role of the last mile distributor, and the local sales teams required to truly support the long term understanding and adoption of a new technology.
Back in 2012, BioLite CEO Jonathan Cedar wrote a piece for GOOD Magazine about the difference between cause-based marketing and social enterprise; while the former can absolutely drive interest and meaningful support, the focus of social enterprises that build impact directly into their businesses is where the opportunity lies for scalable-long term impact. To put it simply: if 1 million people donated a HomeStove (and that's a lot of people) via a 1-for-1 model, that would be amazing – but it would not create a framework for longterm distribution, training, and communications around the introduction of this new product. And, most importantly, it doesn't solve the problem in full: 3 billion people still cook over smoky open fires and 1 million would be a drop in the bucket (albeit a very important drop). This is why BioLite is focusing on building sustainable markets that can support the sale and distribution of tens of millions of HomeStoves over the next several years. And while you may not being able to directly donate a HomeStove, your support of BioLite and your purchase of the BioLite CampStove, BaseCamp, or other products gives us the capital we need to tackle this challenge.