Emerging Cooking Solutions (ECS) is a private company that sells clean cooking stoves and sustainable fuel pellets. ECS aims to help Zambia’s population, who mainly use smoky charcoal stoves, switch over to cleaner cooking methods. ECS produces the sustainable fuel by pelletizing forest waste (dry plant material) into renewable biofuel. The switch from charcoal to renewable biofuel will reduce deforestation and improve living conditions by limiting the negative health effects of smoke produced from charcoal stoves.
In addition to having negative health and environmental effects, the market for charcoal is unregulated. The sale of sustainable cooking fuels, on the other hand, is regulated and generates tax revenue. The additional tax revenue benefits the government and economic development of Zambia.
ECS’s vision is to replace at least half of the charcoal in Zambia with fuel pellets and eventually expand to other countries in the region.
A unique lending approach:
ECS targets low-income people in urban areas who rely heavily on charcoal for cooking. Urban populations have the incentive to switch from charcoal to sustainable fuel pellets because fuel pellets are much cheaper.  
ECS loans help small entrepreneurs and institutions purchase clean cooking stoves and fuel pellets. ECS entrepreneurial loans are given to borrowers that buy 10-50 stoves and then resell them with no mark-up to his/her clients. The entrepreneur/borrower becomes a cook stove and fuel provider in the local community, while earning a long-term income.

ECS institutional loans are given to schools and orphanages that cook for a large number of children. The loans help schools and orphanages get rid of charcoal usage and lower their fuel costs up to 70%. This will lead to significant savings in energy consumption as well as other health-benefits associated with reduced carbon emissions.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Aug 12, 2014 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $198,250 $1,606,044,595
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $343,050
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 389
Amount of Paying Back Loans $97,475 $163,624,250
Number of Paying Back Loans 616 199,854
Amount of Ended Loans $100,775 $1,442,077,295
Number of Ended Loans 70 1,906,880
Delinquency Rate 26.94% 16.26%
Amount in Arrears $13,392 $16,550,633
Outstanding Portfolio $49,151 $101,788,297
Number of Loans Delinquent 504 49,658
Default Rate 1.91% 1.71%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $1,922 $24,614,777
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 5 61,388
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 5.04% 0.40%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $9,996 $7,011,572
Refund Rate 13.92% 0.59%
Amount of Refunded Loans $27,600 $9,477,100
Number of Refunded Loans 12 8,839

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 68.58% 77.44%
Average Loan Size $200 $392
Average Individual Loan Size $136 $600
Average Group Loan Size $2,093 $1,806
Average number of borrowers per group 7.4 8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $4,100 $5,675
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 4.88% 6.91%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 0.52 days 8.07 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $383.81 $48.58
  Average Loan Term 23.59 months 11.35 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 32 977,859
  Journaling Rate 30.38% 42.27%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.03
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 0.67

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2009 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 0% APR 74.00% PY 26.56% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) -68.23% 3.2% -0.53%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 10.00% 11.35%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Sabina Bharwani
Elizabeth Gondwe
Arunmozhi Gopalan
Chayt Kasote
Edina Kayewa
Abiola Lawal
Per Lofberg
Matomola Matomola
Kabinda Mulala
Samuel Mulala
Goodness Mumba
Raymond Musaba
Margaret Mwewa
Maclaud Nchimunya
Towela Nyirenda
Mattias Ohlson
Marion Peterson
Agness Phiri