The 2018 Swiss Re Entrepreneurs for Resilience Award focused on innovative solutions for affordable access to renewable energy. LeFil worked closely with Swiss Re to identify and select the finalists. We will continue supporting the winners across the next two years too.

Altech, the first winner of the award, received CHF 400,000. Altech has built DRC’s largest distributor of solar products, including 20,000 PAYG solar kits, 120,000 solar lanterns, 500 solar home systems and 1,000 clean cookstoves, improving the lives over 500,000 people.

The two runners-up, ColdHubs and Essmart, received CHF 200,000 each. Essmart is a social enterprise solving the last mile distribution problem of rural India. Essmart works with mom-and-pop shops in remote villages to stock, sell and service high-quality, life-improving products such as solar lanterns, rechargeable torch lights and clean cookstoves. It has sold more than 40,000 products through 1,200 local shops, impacting 160,000 people.

ColdHubs aims to solve food spoilage in Nigeria, where as much as 45% of farmers’ harvest is lost every day. Nigeria has very high humidity and temperature, making the lack of cold storage and electricity one of the main factors for spoilage. ColdHubs designs, assembles and installs 100% solar-powered walk-in cold rooms in off-grid markets. The hubs extend the shelf life of food from 2 to 21 days and they have saved 5,700 tons of produce through their five hubs.