Self-sustaining StoveHubs

WorldStove has developed an income generating StoveHub model intended to free communities from the ongoing need for foreign aid and grant writing to sustain basic operation. Once established, WorldStove StoveHubs rely on three separate self-generated revenue sources: local manufacturing and assembly, stove and fuel sales, and carbon offsets. We developed this model to function within the market conditions most common to the communities we serve. Adaptations of this standard model exist to adjust to variations in market conditions. All of our StoveHub work builds upon our standard model and focuses on our core value of creating local jobs.

Local manufacturing and assembly

WorldStove StoveHubs are local manufacturing and assembly sites. These local manufacturing jobs provide a steady income for those involved in the production of regionally specific stoves and pellets at the StoveHub. Developing this local workforce removes the high cost related to shipment of assembled stoves and allows the local hub to sell stoves at a lower cost.

Stove and fuel sales

The second source of income is the sale of stoves and pellets. WorldStove has successfully implemented its own microfinance system for stove sales. Our microfinance model is specifically for areas where people are currently purchasing their own fuel. These markets are characterized by fluctuating fuel costs and unreliable fuel sources. This StoveHub model assists with both stabilizing fuel costs and providing a consistent fuel sources.

Our system relies on the partnerships with local universities and a local NGO. These two partners administer a survey we have developed to determine a baseline of daily expenses for fuel in the region. LuciaStoves are then provided with no money down and payments are based at 50% of current daily fuel expenses in the region. Since WorldStove fuel options are significantly less than most purchased fuel this means that from the first day people have the stove, there is a net daily increase in available family income.

The payments continue until the stove is purchased. WorldStove does life testing of their products. A LuciaStove, if used correctly, will last five years or more, compared to most local stoves that last an average of six months. Being able to purchase a stove that can be used over a longer period of time means, that even if the cost of the stove is slightly higher than local stoves, the household will still be able to spend less over time to cook their daily meals.

Carbon offsets

In 2009, WorldStove became the first company certified as carbon negative. Unique to our model is that we pledge 100% of all offsets sold to the locally owned and operated StoveHubs that generate them. This provides an additional revenue stream for the local hubs and a strong incentive for ensuring correct stove use and pellet production because the offsets are dependent on the quality and quantity of biochar produced from daily cooking. (link per measurable offsets)