Reposted with permission from EcoZoom.
EcoZoom’s founding team is moving to Nairobi, Kenya to open their second office with the goal of developing a commercial market for clean cookstoves in East Africa.
Ben West, Phil Ferranto and Amanda West started EcoZoom two years ago with the vision of making cooking healthy, efficient and environmentally friendly for everyone. EcoZoom is a for-profit, certified B Corp making clean cookstoves accessible and affordable in developing countries. Since its start in April of 2011, EcoZoom has sold over 70,000 cookstoves in 14 developing countries and generated more than $2 million in revenue. All this was accomplished from their office in Portland, Oregon.
Now EcoZoom is expanding and highly focusing their operations in East Africa with Nairobi serving as its hub. “A large market and need exists for our products in the region and a permanent physical presence there will allow us to build out distribution networks and connect more with the cooks using our stoves,” said Ben West, CEO of EcoZoom.
EcoZoom is introducing its new charcoal-only cookstove, the Zoom Jet, into urban markets while working with distribution partners to reach cooks in rural areas with its wood stove line. The Zoom Jet will save end consumers 55% in fuel costs and eliminate 70% of harmful air pollutants – “black carbon” that kills a documented 14,000 Kenyans a year. It also stays cooler to the touch while in use to reduce burn risk.
Results from a one-year pilot conducted in Nairobi were favorable and helped EcoZoom redesign some features of the stove to make it more user friendly. “This stove is smart. I save more than 280 shillings ($3.25) a week in charcoal expenses and it cooks fast,” said Erica, one of the pilot participants in Nairobi. Erica is one of over a million cooks in Nairobi that can benefit from an improved cookstove and use charcoal savings to pay for the stove over time.
The redesigned Zoom Jet will hit the market in June. Several thousands units have been presold and the EcoZoom team has been busy setting up distribution partners to sell tens of thousands more.
The same cookstoves are sold in the United States for recreation and emergency preparedness use. Every sale in the United States goes towards supporting EcoZoom’s international work.
To learn more about EcoZoom visit www.ecozoomstove.com.