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    Date submitted
  • 17-Aug-2017

Inferno Charcoal Briquettes


Alternative Waste Technologies is a mission-driven social enterprise, whose aim is to create meaningful employment opportunities to at-risk youths e.g. ex-juveniles to avoid crime, unlock their potential, develop their skills—and create successful futures for themselves and their families. While we know that creating jobs is essential, we are convinced that providing work alone is not enough to support at-risk youths in moving out of poverty. AWT’s young employees need a path to develop them, a means to build skills and capabilities for the long run. AWT offers an intensive work-study program that allows youth to grow as they learn basic skills, develop technical capabilities and eventually earn degrees that enable them to secure professional jobs when they graduate from our program. AWT creates employment opportunities by producing fuel briquettes through a combination of briquetting technology, entrepreneurship and impact sourcing business model.

Our core manufactured products are charcoal briquettes with the following variations:

1. Carbonized charcoal briquettes: for residential use in cooking and warming

2. Non- carbonized charcoal briquettes: For industrial use in manufacturing industries

3. Frankincense charcoal briquettes: For use during the cold seasons or warming the room

4. Shisha Charcoal briquettes: For smoking sessions of tobacco.


Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video


Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Customers need to understand the impact of indoor air pollution to respiratory and eye diseases, the impact of charcoal use to deforestation, carbon emission, global warming and climatic changes. The following steps will be followed to maintain client loyalty to use of briquettes: 1.Hear about the briquettes as an alternative to charcoal 2.Decide to change their cooking energy to briquettes due to the added value element: -Made from refined and densified leftover agri & forest residues -Sustainable and Eco Friendly Renewable Fuel- -Replacement to Conventional Fossil Fuels -Remarkable Consistency and Burning Efficiency -Clean Fuel & High Calorific Value -Results in clean and local environment 3.Fill in pre- survey questionnaire to test their attitude towards the product before use 4.Provide samples for testing in their home use about 10 briquette pieces 5.Contact the customer to obtain user experience after use 6.Provide a discounted sale for introducing the client to the product use. 7.Provide loyalty card where customer earns points for every 10Kg of briquettes purchased which can be redeemed upon reaching 100Kgs briquette use with 5Kg free briquettes.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Wood fuel energy remains the main (for some the only), source of energy in developing countries now and in future with current consumption at 68% of the national energy requirements. About 70% of the consumers in Kenya use biomass while 30% use other fuels. Kerosene is mostly used for lighting (52%) while biomass is widely used for cooking and heating (60%). Fuel wood had the highest energy budget share on average for both rural (11.6 %) and urban (9.34 %) compared to the other fuels. Analysis of fuel types in Kenya by urban and rural areas shows that the most popular fuel types in terms of their various uses are: kerosene (80%), followed by charcoal (60%), fuel wood (55%), electricity (37%) and LPG (21%) in that order. Briquettes have high specific density (1200 Kg/m3) and bulk density (800 Kg/m3) compared to 60 -180 Kg/m3 of loose biomass. These can stand the ardors of long distance transport. Loading/unloading and transportation costs are much less and storage requirement is drastically reduced. Compared to fire wood or loose biomass, briquettes give much higher boiler efficiency because of low moisture and higher density. These characteristics make the product appealing.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

First, unskilled and skilled labour must be available to support the production of briquettes. The skilled labour is needed to manage the production equipment more effectively and efficiently and the unskilled labour is needed to assist in sourcing for raw materials to the packaging process ready for the market. Secondly, capital must be available to purchase a briquette press machine to enable increase production capacity and produce a bespoke, uniform-shaped product. There must be access to a briquette press manufacturer to facilitate the growth of existing briquette producers. Finally awareness creation is pivotal. Successful techniques include giving away free samples of briquettes and aggressive promotion and branding of the briquettes. There must be entrepreneurial and have high levels of motivation and commitment if the business is to succeed. Research and development of shape, size and feedstock is required to ensure the product is best suited to the target market.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

A sound strategic marketing plan will draw on the marketing function to support overall organizational goals. Strategic and targeted promotion, advertising, branding, selling, customer service, door to door marketing and competitive pricing will be executed. Community health promotion officers selected from the operational areas in collaboration with the CBOs, our sales executives and waste management companies representatives will help in the mobilization for availing raw materials to be processed. At the community level, they shall also act as wholesalers and retailers for our briquettes within our environment. Due diligence will be done for distributors to be appointed. A competitive price shall be established after pricing survey to be done on competitors. Discounts and bonuses will be run especially during the rainy seasons to encourage the use our products. We shall exhibit in relevant stakeholders’ forums and further conduct training to potential clients on the benefits.