Milestone Posts

We did it!

Posted Thursday 3 November 2022 by Eva Wissenz.

A big big thank you to all those who have supported this campaign in one way or another.

This raised budget will allow to build the 2 Lytefire solar ovens in Kenya and refresh one existing one, to give one to Joan who lives nearby, to send one to Hashimu who is in Tanzania and another one to Allen in Uganda, in addition to some utensils and ingredients.

It’s a huge step for us because until now, in Africa, we we’ve only worked with NGOs and not directly with the entrepreneurs creating their slow tech companies and local bakeries, and it’s really great to finally be able to do this!

Joan, Hashimu, Allen, we know them well, we work with them for training and they understand 200% the Solar Fire vision with decentralized energy and which is so successfully illustrated in France with Neoloco. So, there you go, with this support, they will do the same, make themselves visible, inspire people.

 

And meanwhile, these Lytefire ovens are spreading in different sizes and for different needs in different contexts...

- in France with entrepreneurs who have a more industrial version made in France to make bread or snacks,

- with associations that go to schools or festivals to talk about solar bakery (cookies and pizza too),

- with trainers in the self-construction of the small model,

- with self-constructions of the oven that we guide remotely for small and medium-sized associations in the South,

- with more and more local licensees manufacturers who will be able to market on their side,

- with schools in Africa whose canteens are being equipped,

- and with NGOs too of course.

And all these people, at the end of this month, will be able to discuss together on a forum that we have been dreaming about for a long time.

Like everything, it has been hard work, years and years of persistence, miles of life lessons, but it’s such a great journey!!


Three new Solarpreneurs in France!

Posted Monday 29 August 2022 by Eva Wissenz.

Thanks to the patient work of Arnaud, Elise, Benoist, Maxence and Loïc, three new French entrepreneurs decided to start using the Lytefire Deluxe manufactured in France to power their activity. They have been inspired by NeoLoco, Arnaud’s solar bakery, and by Lydiane and Manu, who have been the first to jump in and become "solarpreneurs" with Du Soleil et des Graines. Together in East France, Lydiane and Manu have now more than 50 retailers welcoming their solar roasted creations (see here).

 
L’Atelier Bélénos was created in Brittany, France, by Didier Ménard. "Bélénos" stands for the Gallic god of sun and health. The owner has a background of generalist engineer and is a former project manager in the cosmetics industry. Didier started the production around March 2022 and the marketing from mid-May. He solar makes cereal bars and roasted seeds for salads. He already has a dozen retailers.

Michel Mouillé is an environmental education trainer. He discovered the Lytefire thanks to NeoLoco and, as he was already offering courses and training focused on alternative cooking solutions with Idée d’en Faire, he was immediately interested. After several visits to the solar bakery, he decided to get his Lytefire Deluxe. He finds it "easy to use and quick to handle". He will soon start roasting his seeds and offer a local coffee. raise people’s awareness of the challenges of solar cooking. Below are some cool pictures of the pizza workshop he hosted for families in precarious situations and during the Low tech festival, l’Ouvre Boîtes (Can Opener).

Based in Normandy, in the Pays de Bray, Céline Puech launched Solé B’Rayon this summer. Céline has matured her project for a long time. With her Lytefire, she plans to create her own cereal bars as well as roasted seed mixes to replace crisps and peanuts for appetizers. She also created a nice ebook with healthy solar roasted seeds based recipes.

More inspiration? Discover other solarpreneurs right here!


Two Strong Women Joining

Posted Friday 22 July 2022 by Eva Wissenz.





With the title of this post, I refer to Marie NDiaye’s book, Three Strong Women (2009), which is telling the story of three heroines between France and Senegal. It is proven: powerful stories and visions can change the world. Let’s only remember the Civil Rights movement in the US or the raise of women empowerment happening progressively since a few decades (2 generations ago, women couldn’t vote, remember?). For sure, it’s not enough. For sure, it’s not fast enough and we’re not enough people but there are, actually many, so many examples of real change in the past. This can give us courage in hard times.

Our followers know that with the Lytefire, the team is on a journey to mitigate deforestation and global warming consequences, as well as empower people with a simple, efficient and elegant solar solution. Lytefire requires no infrastructure, no renovation and no high tech to be implemented. And it relieves the burden of energy from many people’s shoulders around the world, especially women and especially in Africa.

Did you know that many women in African villages still have to go to chop wood and it takes them hours every day? On her way, the woman might meet with predators (humans or animals), break her back, then spend hours by the fireplace breathing dark particles to simply roast a few kg of peanuts to be sold on the local market. Provide these women with a Lytefire oven and all this is gone. And the deforestation slows down around the village.

Did you know that this year, our field team trained more than 200 young people in Uganda to become solar bakers and created themselves an income based on a fossil fuel free activity? Doesn’t this give a bit of hope?

Did you know that some people in France are ready for a change using that same tech to bake and roast delicious snacks? They save on energy and they experience a different relationship to work - following the sun, adapting to elements, experiencing the solidity of a locally produced solar tech very adapted to our times.

And on top of spreading Lytefire with pedagogical trainings, the team works on changing the storytelling and building bridges. That’s what’s needed to make this world a better place.

On this path, we are now joined by 2 strong women, and we’re so happy to welcome them.

Susanne Müller is an impact investor from Germany, in charge of MII GmbH. She is joining our board as a Director. After several years in public service (HZI, Fraunhofer ITEM), Susanne changed to the private sector. She has experience in the metal, wood and plastics processing industry in the areas of HR, occupational safety and most recently QM.

"Recently I became a happy impact investor. I’ve seen a lot and want to see a lot more. I believe in mutual success through cooperation!

When I saw the Lytefire for the first time in the showroom video, it was immediately clear to me that this is a simple, technical solution that could be used anywhere in the world.
This product holds the solution to a group of global issues that we need to tackle now! During my first conversations with the founders of SFCO, I was immediately carried away by the strength of their vision and their devotion.

During my visit to Kenya and Uganda in April this year, I was able to get to know most of the team. I got detailed insights into the production of the Lytefire stoves directly on site in Kenya, into the project work and into the training courses in Uganda, which impressed me very much. I was able to see by myself what entrepreneurial perspectives a Lytefire Bakery brings for the users. I have been able to taste their cookies and cakes. I could really feel the empowerment of the trainees, who are mostly women. Furthermore, I was deeply inspired by the team’s loving passion and enthusiasm for working towards the fulfillment of the mission.

It quickly became clear to me that I would be happy to support this company with all my skills beyond my role as an impact investor. With Solar Fire board, I’m willing to share my expertise in quality management based on my many years of experience in the various sectors of the manufacturing industry. I am delighted and honored to be part of the working board myself now, to support the mission with my strength and to drive the vision forward."

Elise Hauters is co-managing CPM Industries with her brother Benoist Panchout. The company was created in Normandy by their father in 1990. CPM Industries expertise, is mostly in the aeronautics sector. It is thanks to their high motivation that Lytefire Deluxe has been finalized last year and starts to be commercialized in France. Elise’s interest and commitment for impact is growing more and more at all level and she is initiating new projects to work on the transformation of her industry sector.
"It is my pleasure and also honor to accept this volunteer role of board advisor on topics on which I can shed some light. I find SFCO’s mission very meaningful for several reasons and first of all the Lytefire implemented in Africa (and I hope one day among other regions in need for it) is a tool that makes possible to solve major food problems related to global warming. But what moves me the most I think is the ability that this tech is providing to women to emancipate themselves, to empower themselves, to take the lead.

As a woman and a business leader, I experience how complex and heavy leading is, even in a Western and modern society. In addition, I have the absolute conviction that the industry must be able to put its capacity and skills at the service of social and environmental justice. We must be creative in the way we carry out our projects, in general.

My institutional missions on this topic allow me to confront on one hand the economic issues , which guide the actions of the major players in my territory in France, with the issues that I personally consider to be a priority. And if this can help Lytefire team, in one way or another, I am happy to dedicate time to share my expertise and past learning’s."

Thanks for joining us!

(icon picture - credit : jplenio / Pixabay - Licence : CC0)


Campaign launch! Support Solar Bakery Pioneers in East Africa

Posted Friday 17 June 2022 by Eva Wissenz.

Help Joan, Hashimu and Allen to inspire their local communities by harnessing the power of the sun and creating sustainable bakeries!

Feeding their community without polluting or deforesting is what Joan, Hashimu and Allen choose to do in order to fight the intensity and acceleration of climate change and global warming caused by human activities.

With your help, we want to support each solarpreneur to acquire a Lytefire solar oven, the material and ingredients needed to start in their town in September-October 2022.

Joan is a female entrepreneur in Kenya. Hashimu is a young cook in Tanzania. Allen is a pensioner baker but ooops, we shouldn’t say pensioner because he is more active than you and me!

What do they all have in common? They all live in East Africa, they face heavy daily challenges connected to the reality of global warming, they want to make a change and they LOVE the Lytefire solar oven.

Thank you for supporting them as much as you can on the campaign page and by sharing on social media!


New sponsors: Siemenpuu Foundation and ASE

Posted Wednesday 1 June 2022 by Eva Wissenz.

Like any other company, we had to adapt to covid and to the complexity of our world. We don’t want to travel too much for long projects anymore, we need to take into account the rise of pricing for shipping and material, and we still need to address the huge amount of request we receive from all over the world! More and more people are ready to use Lytefire, and many are ready to build by themselves with our help. That is why we have created the Pioneer package a few months ago which is combining technical material and at-distance guidance in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese from one of our Project Managers. In that context, we have been happy and honored to be supported by N’Gouro Sanogo, from Association Sahel Espoir, and Hanna Matinpuro, from Siemenpuu Foundation. Together they have made the translation of all our material in French finally possible! Thanks to them, our cooperation with French speaking countries will be boosted!!

Contact us for more info about the Pioneer Package!


Kamuli Youth Solar Bakers!

Posted Thursday 13 January 2022 by Hanna Williams.

Welcome our new Kamuli Youth Solar Bakers!!

After an exciting collaboration with Plan International back in 2018, the team arrived at Smart Up Factory in Kamuli where we were beyond thrilled with the entrepreneurial spirit the students displayed! Smart Up Kamuli were provided with 1 Lytefire 5 the combined oven and roaster where they could bake bread, cookies and cakes whilst also having the opportunity to roast peanuts! During the course of 3 weeks the students learnt many skills such as the technical maintenance and installation of the Lytefire, entrepreneurship, baking theory and practical.

During the entrepreneurship training, the Smart Up students were taught how to market and promote a business where the students learnt how to create their very own promotional flyer in hope to get regular clients, taking orders, as well as locals passing by. For now, they don’t sell at any market but take private clients. But for sure, there will be quite a development branching out to the markets in the future when they look further into it!

The purpose of the Smart Up Factory is to empower youths by promoting free educational training for youths especially young girls that have been victim of teenage pregnancies and forced to leave school due to caring for their child. Smart Up Factory inspires, motivates and transforms the lives of many vulnerable youths by giving them a second chance at education with a diverse range of trainings! This is where the Lytefire team makes an appearance! One of the training the Smart Up Factory wanted us to get involved with is Solar baking!

"Smart Up Factory inspires, motivates and transforms the lives of many vulnerable youths"

The group with their now defined roles (baker, inventory, sales, technical team..) work for the bakery at the Smart Up Hub in Kamuli. They agreed to work for free until there is some profit. There is this bakery committee who supervises the whole process/the bakery while the manager of the overall bakery that oversees all roles within the bakery is one of the mentors of the Hub who will manage the team making sure the team all work and communicate together.

The new “Kamuli Youth Bakery’’ on the very last day we called ‘Solar demo day’ sold many products earning a profit of 75,000 UGX (around 19EUR)! There was a very long and excited line of parents and visitors which meant the bakery team had a lot of solar baking to do! During the demo day we showed the audience the traditional stick burning test which gathered a huge crowd around the Lytefire!

“Kamuli Youth Bakery’’ on the ‘Solar demo day’ sold many products earning a profit of 75,000 UGX (around 19EUR)!"

The students had also baked a very impressive 3-level-cake for 150’000 UGX (around 37EUR), from one man from Plan International as he had ordered from the Kamuli Youth Bakery to pick up on Saturday! Asupas, the manager of the Kamuli Youth Bakery informed us that the team has been baking 2 cartons of bread buns a week! This is around 500 delicious solar baked bread buns which are sold to friends and families of the students at the Smart Up hub in Kamuli! They have even had order requests for occasion cakes such as governmental events, birthdays and graduations!

The community of Solar bakers is constantly growing! What a special way to end 2021!


Solar Fire chosen as TOP NORDIC 50 IMPACT COMPANY - 2021!

Posted Friday 3 December 2021 by Urs Riggenbach.

We are honoured to announce our company Solar Fire has been selected as one of the Nordic’s top 50 impact companies! Since 2017, The One Initiative has assessed over a thousand companies from the Nordic and Baltic regions, for their impact scalability and commercial viability. We are deeply grateful that our important work is more recognized today. On December 9th in Copenhagen, we will get to connect with fellow impact companies and investors, to build synergies needed to scale our impact.

To learn more about The One Initiative, and see the other top impact companies 2021, visit: https://www.oneinitiative.org/top-50-impact-2021/

We look forward to join the event in Copenhagen on December 9th, 2021.


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