Empower Malawi is a social enterprise that exists within the rural regions of Malawi. We strive to facilitate the development of communities, and transformation of lives in a sustainable way, that centres around our innovative business model.
Currently operating across Northern Malawi, one of the poorest and most rural regions of the world, we found that here, communities have one thing in common. There is a huge overreliance on the countries biggest commodity, Lake Malawi.
Over 1.5 million people rely on the lake for their main source of food, while the fishing industry also provides employment to more than 300,000 people. In the last 10 years fish stocks have depleted by 90%. Should these negative impacts continue, the reality for many communities across Malawi could be devastating.
Many fishermen fish at night on Lake Malawi, using expensive paraffin fuel. We use our innovative solar light to reduce fishermen's costs by 45% every night giving them an increased income. We limit the battery life of this light in order to reduce the amount of fish fishermen catch by 20%, still increasing their incomes and improving their lives.
The profits from this business go back into the community, providing infrastructure. There is also a pot of money that is used to micro-finance new protein focused businesses for women in these rural communities, creating new enterprises and reducing the reliance on the lake for both an income, and a source of protein.