Social impact investor Oikocredit has made a € 1 million convertible loan to Inyenyeri, a fuel-utility company providing clean and environmentally-friendly cooking solutions in Rwanda.

The announcement was made today at the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Lisbon, Portugal.

According to Eric Reynolds, CEO at Inyenyeri, “The Inyenyeri Fuel+Stove system is the only clean cooking solution that works for all households, rural and urban. Our goal is to make sure every home has access to safe, clean, affordable cooking. We are very grateful to Oikocredit for their visionary support of this important work.”

Inyenyeri’s fuel and stove solution cuts smoke and toxic fumes by more than 90% compared to traditional cooking methods. It also uses 85-90% less wood than charcoal or sticks, reducing deforestation. It accomplishes this while costing around half the price of charcoal.

Illness attributable to household air pollution kills between 3-4 million people every year, according to the World Bank.

Inyenyeri currently serves 3,000 homes with stoves using renewable, made-in-Rwanda fuels, and is expanding rapidly. It aims to serve 150,000 Rwandan households by 2020, helping achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7: affordable and clean energy access for all.

Oikocredit is committed to investing in renewable energy projects where there are obvious benefits for local communities. Inyenyeri’s work and mission are aligned with this commitment.

The timing of this announcement is fitting, as the theme for the Sustainable Energy Forum being held in Lisbon this week is “Leave No One Behind”.

David ten Kroode, Renewable Energy Manager at Oikocredit, said: “Oikocredit sees Inyenyeri’s potential to transform household cooking in Rwanda. In the long-term, we want to see this model spreading to other countries. Right now, as an early mover, we want to pave the way for other investors to channel social impact funding into the clean cooking sector.”