The 4th edition of the StovePlus Academy titled Business Development for Improved Cookstoves and Innovative Fuels was held from 20-24 February 2017 at the Central Philippine University Campus in Iloilo City, Philippines. GERES’ StovePlus Program organized the training-workshop in collaboration with several partners – the Philippine Equity Foundation (PEF), Rexel Foundation, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French Global Environment Facility, ADB- Energy4All Program (ADB-E4ALL), Central Philippine University (CPU), and the Iloilo Caucus of Development Nongovernment Organizations, Inc. (ICODE).

13 improved cookstoves designers/producers/promoters and 7 innovative fuel producers/promoters attended, along with 15 other cooking energy supporters and 9 guests from government line agencies and the academe.

The learning event was composed of five modules: 1) setting the frame and technology focus; 2) baseline assessment and market survey; 3) business development; 4) access to finances; and 5) ways forward to scale. Some of the participants were asked to present on particular aspects of their operations, while the facilitators also gave extra sessions on topics of special interest. Lecture-discussions and Q&A were used to explain concepts and processes.

Tasked to immediately apply what they have learned from the lectures and discussions, participants were engaged in a variety of practical exercises: performing the water boiling test; simulation of conducting a market survey on customers’ aspirations; including developing and staging special presentations to promote their products. Working in groups, the participants were made to develop business plans for viable enterprises and action plans on projects of their choice. Through a plenary discussion, they also came up with a collective action plan on how to move forward.

How did the participants assess the workshop?

All were really excited and pleased to attend the S+ Academy workshop: “We learned there were alternative improved cookstoves, technologies and innovative fuels currently available in the market”.

Some misconceptions were also discussed and remain well in the participants’ minds: “Having a sole cooking fuel is a myth and so is the fuel ladder (…), there is such a thing as fuel stacking”.

The participants reported acquiring a sound knowledge of how to distribute and how to market their product and most importantly, they learned how to satisfy their users or customers once they have bought their products.

What will the entrepreneurs do next?

‘Ed’ Arroyo “I plan to strengthen my business on several aspects, marketing, technology transfer, and funding access.”

Jed Guinto “I hope to find an investor to upgrade my entire production workshop and upscale my production capacity.”

Wishing all the best to those promising entrepreneurs and thanks again to our donors, our logistic partners and our facilitators Christa Roth and Carlo Figa Talamanca for their efforts to make this event so successful.

Find more about the event by reading StovePlus Academy 2017 documenting report.

The workshop directory is available on request, please contact info@stoveplus.org.

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