MPower Ventures & Barry Callebaut: an innovative partnership to deliver a tangible impact project that is commercially viable

by MPower on March 18, 2020 1 comment

The Strategy

The proposed CSR strategy uses decentralized solar solutions combined with an innovative financing scheme to empower local communities, reduce forest degradation and deforestation practices as well as carbon emissions.

Proof of Conecpt

MPower kicked off a pilot project with Barry-Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa, in January 2019. The project targets 600 cocoa farmers in four cooperatives in Cameroon and distributes, together with MPower’s local partner, a set of cost-effective solar kits focusing on lighting, mobile phone charging and larger systems for productive use. The project demonstrates how a successful collaboration between a multinational company, an innovative facilitator and local distributors can lead to a sustainable, fully commercial and profitable project with large-scale potential to empower African farmers.


Gains for the Community & the Multinational

There are numerous benefits of the collaboration.

Main benefits for the community:

  • Access to clean and reliable energy
  • Icreased productivity through smart agricultural tools and other powered electric devices
  • First-ever credit histroy
  • Yearly savings for households from USD 60 upwards depending on system size
  • Empowering local communities and entrepreneurs by providing an opportunity for income

Main benefits for the cooperation

  • Very effective way to implement company’s CSR concept and vision
  • Significantly reduce the company’s carbon footprint
  • Improve employees / supplier’s loyalty vis-à-vis the company
  • Increase productivity e.d. through smart sprayer, solar pumps, headlights)
  • No technical risk for the company


Here you find a short report about our activities in Cameroon:



For further information please contact contact:

Manuel Seiffe, Co-Founder & CEO,, +41 79 175 52 02

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MPowerMPower Ventures & Barry Callebaut: an innovative partnership to deliver a tangible impact project that is commercially viable

Our Energy Hub: providing energy and related services to secluded villages.

by MPower on February 10, 2020 1 comment
The fishing village of Nsombo, in Northern Zambia, is a typical village in sub-Sahran Africa: access to energy is limited and continuously interrupted. The only infrastructures which have electricity are the local school and the houses for students and teachers, which are powered by diesel generators to provide at least some lighting at night. As Nsombo is a five hours bus drive (or one day with a bycicle), the provision of diesel for the generator is expensive and scarce, leaving the village with almost no power at all.

  In May 2019, MPower Ventures deployed in Nsombo its first containerized solution: the EnergyHUB. The HUB is a fully connected, mobile, Plug&Play solar container acting as charging station for small solar generators.


The batteries provide lighting, enable the charging of mobile phones and power TVs and other energy-efficient appliances. There, the local villagers can come and rent out these batteries for a small fee, as well as purchase MPower’s energy-efficient appliances. The HUB provides 10kW of photovoltaic power, and other than charging solar batteries, it is also a meeting center for the community, where they can enjoy a refreshing drink or using the printing station installed in the container.

The EnergyHUB is locally run and created so far four full-time jobs and positively impacted more than 500 people through its energy services. Click here to see a short clip about our energy hub.


The HUB in Zambia is the first of many more: MPower has already deployed its second village hub in Bodze in Togo, which was assembled locally, ensuring further job creation.

The HUB is part of an Innovation Project with REPIC, the Swiss institution for the promotion of renewable energy in emerging markets. Furthermore, the company was recently granted with a federal loan guarantee from the Technology Fund, which supports Swiss companies whose products or processes enable a sustainable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and is supported by InnoEnergy, among others.


Contact us for further information:

Manuel Seiffe, Co-Founder & CEO, +41 79 175 52 02
MPower Ventures AG, c/o South Pole, Technoparkstrasse 1, 8005 Zurich, Switzerland



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MPowerOur Energy Hub: providing energy and related services to secluded villages.