African Clean Energy

African Clean Energy (ACE) is a B-Corp certified (score 148.9) social enterprise best known for the ACE 1 Solar-Biomass Hybrid, a complete energy solution for poor households in developing markets. The device reduces cookfuel need by 50-70%, burns any type of biomass without smoke, and offers pico-PV solar electricity for mobile charging or LED lighting. In 2018, ACE is launching the next-gen ACE 1 with new electronics, which is capable of connecting and communicating with smartphones. This will enable transitioning to a Pay-As-You-Go sales model, which does not exist yet in the clean cooking sector. It will also make it possible to monitor stove usage in real-time, in order to better understand and quantify the product’s impact. ACE have sold over 55,000 cookstoves since 2011, and they have ground operations (selling B2C) in Cambodia, Lesotho and Uganda. The ACE factory is located in Lesotho where more than 60 people are employed in various skilled and semi-skilled roles.

Organisation Representative

Endorsers that African Clean Energy partner with


BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt

Aavishkaar Capital is the equity arm of The Aavishkaar Group which manages in excess of US$1 billion in AUM across equity and credit. The Group’s shareholders include TIAA-Nuveen, Shell Foundation, Triodos Bank and Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank.

BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt

The BMW Foundation inspires and supports people to work for the common good and for a society that is capable of meeting the challenges of the future. To this end, we engage in cross-sector collaborations with partners across the globe. Together, we search for innovative solutions in politics, business and society.Our work targets one group in particular: international leaders. As influential opinion makers with a wealth of experience, they can make an important contribution to a society based on solidarity. On the one hand, they can consider the social impact of their professional activities; on the other, they can leave their ‘silos’ behind and embrace a more civic-minded attitude. We help leaders to utilize their skills and networks in the form of pro-bono or philanthropic engagement, or to cooperate with civil-society organizations.We believe that interdisciplinary thinking and cross-sector cooperation is indispensable to understanding and solving the problems of our times. We therefore seek cooperations with a wide variety of institutions ‘ government departments, foundations, think tanks, and social actors ‘ in all areas of our work. These collaborations help us to recognize trends and innovative ideas more quickly and to further develop our activities thematically and methodologically. Through a growing number of new partnerships, we have been able to systematically expand our programs and more effectively advance our objectives, including at the political level. A special focus is on strong partner organizations abroad, who help our work take on an increasingly global reach. In 1959, Herbert Quandt secured BMW’s independence and thus laid the foundation for the successful development of the automobile company. To honor his entrepreneurial achievement, BMW AG in 1970 established our foundation.

Newly published report Protect | Empower | Transform: Tech Innovations Changing the World

The report, produced in partnership with Sifted, is a profound and constructive contribution to the general discussion of the impact of Tech for Good startups with motivating examples also from the startups of our RESPOND Accelerator Program supporting founders and entrepreneurs who are working towards a sustainable and just future in line with the UN ìs 2030 Agenda.

Download the report HERE.

On-going/Past projects

ACE 1 Cook Stove for Cambodia: Efficient and Eco-friendly

By African Clean Energy

African Clean Energy makes energy more accessible and affordable to poor, rural families living off-grid and cooking using traditional methods.

Climate Action and Environment, Conservation, Energy, Financial Inclusion, Livelihood and Poverty Alleviation