Entrepreneurship, Clean Cookstoves and Kiva Zip

Our trustee Kelvin Wambugu from EcoZoom with their products
Over 4 million people die prematurely from illness attributed to the household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels. An estimated 25% of global CO2 emissions are generated by the rural poor – accounting for significantly more than all global transportation-related emissions combined. To address these problems, organizations such as EcoZoom, a Kiva Zip trustee in Kenya, bring clean-burning cookstoves (and other ecological products) to people in developing countries.
Meet Paul. Paul was born in the outskirts of Nairobi and is today a successful entrepreneur.

Full of energy, Paul sells clean cookstoves to urban and rural families to replace their traditional charcoal cookstoves.
Paul moved to Nairobi and started working as a cleaner. Within a couple of months, he became a driver and when someone asked him to sell cookstoves, he put them in the trunk of his car and while his boss was in meetings, he would go out and explore. He first sold 5 cookstoves in a week and the profit he made was worth a month of salary as a driver. Paul quit his driver position and started his own business selling clean cookstoves. He took a Kiva Zip loan to buy stock. He first started with 5 a week and gradually became a major distributor.
Paul sells EcoZoom products. EcoZoom is an organization that not only provides the product and links entrepreneurs to capital but also furnishes them with business training and coaching. Today Paul sells between 300 and 500  cookstoves a month, has built a house for his parents, got married and is the happy father of a new born girl.
Paul only uses matatus (small buses) to conduct his business. Very impressive. He travels around Nairobi throughout the day with his stock and makes 100% of his sales this way. His next Kiva Zip loan will be used to buy a car, improving his efficiency drastically.
We wish the best of luck to Paul and are looking forward to meeting more amazing individuals like him!

About the author

Shinez Chalabi

Shinez evolved in both Orient and Occident. Growing up in Algeria, she was exposed to the realities of living in a developing country, from strong core human values, a sense of community and an unlimited generosity to difficult infrastructures, living conditions and insecurity. She then embarked on an adventure that has yet to end. Shinez studied industrial engineering in France, then moved to Canada to study business and work in information technology and telecommunications. While working as a consultant in technology management, she backpacked through India, volunteered in Thailand, crossed South America, fell under the charm of Istanbul, lived with a family in Costa Rica, learned Spanish in Colombia and faked a Portuguese accent in Rio de Janeiro. These experiences helped her develop a thirst for life, a cross-cultural point of view and a desire to create positive change. By focusing on the human side of technology, she believes she can give back to the world that has given her endless opportunities. When she first heard about Kiva, Shinez instantly became a lender and tried to convince everybody around her to help finance loans around the world. Over the years, Kiva became more than just a side interest and her focus on technology and passion for social impact led her to take on a Kiva Fellowship. Shinez will be serving in Nairobi, Kenya on the Kiva Zip program.