Cooking has always been a woman's chore in most societies, particularly in rural areas. As a result, women there spend a lot of time collecting firewood for cooking. To help them save time, and to reduce the effects of firewood on the environment, Neil Bellefeuille and Greg Spencer have come up with a sustainable solution called EzyStove.
EzyStove not only reduces the amount of wood needed by two-thirds, but also cuts down emission of gases by up to 80 percent. At the same time, it cooks the meal faster, which saves a lot of time.
Ezylife, the franchise under which the stoves are made, works with the local community, rents space in the locality and stocks it with products ready to be sold. These stockists are paid $100 as storage fee every month, apart from the money they get for the products sold. Zippora Mumbua, Ezylife's Director of Operations, told Cleanleap,
“We do this to make sure they see this rental income as supplemental only, so that they don’t lose focus on their core business. We mostly work with women-owned businesses.”
Apart from saving time women, they help women-run businesses by stocking their products in an attempt to empower them. In addition to that, more than 50 percent of women working with Ezylife are from sales to managerial positions. This is done with an commitment to help women break out of the gender norms imposed on them.
Ezystove is being sold in both Kenya and Ethiopia, usually to women groups with a minimum of ten members. They also have an option of paying the cost of Ezystove in installments. So far, nearly 3,00,000 stoves have been sold to nearly 50o women groups. Talking about what led them to do this, CEO of The Paradigm Project, Neil Bellefeuille, told the Business Wire,
“Unfortunately, the affordability and availability of these technologies is often limited by a lack of appropriate financing and efficient distribution to market."
Ezystove was started as part of the Paradigm Project, a social venture company, in an attempt to close this gap by efficiently distributing the stoves to the last mile.