March 2016: JikoPower sent multiple early stage generators with City University Enactus students over to Gabon, Africa for initial testing and customer feedback.
In the first month of ownership, people are not only saving time and money, but one woman has doubled her income by selling cellphone charges to her community. This means that members of her community no longer have to walk to distant towns for more expensive charging.
On June 7th, a new and improved prototype of the JikoPower Spark was brought to Nigeria with a City University Enactus student.
August/ September 2016: There was an extended power outage in Bungoma, Kenya. According to our partner Salim, our customers were the only residents with consistent access to electricity in the entire area. They used the JIkoPower Spark prototypes to charge neighbors' phones.
Users have reported charging times of two hours per phone. This is significantly faster than we had predicted for these initial prototypes. The next generation should charge even faster!
With the JikoPower Spark, people save time and money. They can grow businesses by staying connected with clients and suppliers. Others can sell charges to their local community and earn extra money for their families.
Families can afford to send their children to school instead of to work. Kids can stay up studying by LED at night, and if they have a question they can call or look it up on a cellphone.
With a generator, people are 3X more likely to use a clean cook stove, and with access to electricity, families aren't dependent on kerosene for light. This dramatically reduces their carbon footprint and improves respiratory health.
With electricity and a charged cellphone, families can easily reach a doctor, and doctors can more effectively serve their communities. They can offer advice over the phone, and can work after dark.