On the 25th of February Sesolo Mello has presented their case during a great Borrel of the Pyramid event. Curious on what their status is now?
Sesolo Mello is a social enterprise aiming to substitute paraffin in South African households with a safer, healthier and cheaper alternative: a biofuel blend that can be used in the same cookstoves as paraffin. Made from waste vegetable oils and produced in small scale production facilities, it also provides a sustainable solution that can stimulate local entrepreneurship and employment.
In February 2016 Roy Hendriks from Sesolo Mello presented his question at the Borrel of the Pyramid: how can we get local stakeholders (customers/employees/partners) enthusiastic for what we are doing and on board for working together with us? This difficult question fueled an evening of interesting discussions and some good key take-aways at the end: get a local “authority figure” to work with us and make sure that our employees are also our most supportive customers.
Guided by these insights Roy set out to South Africa to join his team member Jacob Bussmann, who by that time found this local “authority figure” in the Kayamandi township near Stellenbosch. With his help we managed to get a lot of people interested in our product and by now there is a subscription list of dozens of people who want to test the Sesolo Mello fuel and also a group of small shop owners who would be willing to sell it.
Unfortunately we got stuck in our product development during the same time, so there is no fuel yet to be sold… However, our chemist from the UK will join us from next week onwards to save the day and get a product ready. The ultimate test will then follow when our first customers will try it. From this experience we hope to find someone who is eager to not just use the product, but also to work with us to spread it to the rest of Kayamandi.
The Borrel of the Pyramid has thus been very helpful for our development and we are very happy that we had the opportunity to pitch our question. The insights and tips that we got have brought us further and we will keep them in mind for the next steps! We hope to have the opportunity to visit another Borrel when one/some of us are back in Europe.