Zuwa Energy is a social enterprise committed to addressing energy needs in Malawi through the provision of affordable PAYGO Solar Home Systems.

Since 2017, Zuwa Energy has sold four thousand solar home units, reaching 25,000 people in Malawi. But in 2020, COVID lockdowns led to the closure of mobile markets and restricted the movement of Zuwa agents, leading a to significant drop in sales. Zuwa switched to online marketing and payment processing, but with few beneficiaries having access to digital technology, traction was limited.

At the same time, Zuwa’s 2016-20 financial plan was coming to an end. And with a new plan needed to attract future funding, the company turned to AECF’s Investment Advisory Services (IAS) team for help.

“The AECF helped us devise a new financial model and develop a clear picture of what we needed to do,” says Zuwa Energy CEO Jones Ntaukira. “It is a 10-year model, with assumptions for crisis-impacts and growth plans for financing. The resilience contingency element is key, giving us a clear idea of how we move forward and how we respond to future shocks. The AECF team also helped us develop a cashflow planning tool, a data room and evaluation model, which means we can now approach more commercially oriented investors.”

With a new plan in place, Zuwa Energy was able to raise an additional US$ 400,000, to be disbursed over three phases. This money will enable Zuwa to meet its operational and capital expenditure and continue providing vital energy services to rural households in Malawi.

After two years working in South Africa, Kamadyola returned to Zankutu, Malawi, with some money saved. After speaking with a local Zuwa agent, Kamadyola saw an opportunity. Zankutu has no electricity, but many locals love to watch football on TV, so, Kamadyola decided to invest in a MACHEZA Solar Plus system and solar Bluetooth speaker.

Kamadyola’s Video and Sports Centre screens live football and movies to the local community, at a cost of MWK100-MWK200 per person. From the income he makes, Kamadyola easily covers the cost of his monthly installation and takes home money for his family. “I have never regretted the decision of investing in a Zuwa solar home system for business. I am now able to take care of my family and I earn enough profits to invest in more businesses.” Says Kamadyola.