A Social Business Incubator In The Eastern Congo

Altech: A Brighter future


It’s easy to like Washikala and Iongwa. They are young, bright and ambitious and make a good team with Washikala providing the energy and drive and Iongwa the organisation. They grew up together in a refugee camp and went to university together in Dar es Salaam. Now they have a renewable energy business called Altech that sells solar lighting and clean cookstoves.

We’ve worked with them since the early days in 2014 when they operated out of a mud hut. Back then we offered a loan together with business advice and we still do both. Nowadays, however, they have offices in Goma, Kisingani and Kinshasa and employ over 350 people. They have sold 150,000 solar lamps and their track record has won them financial support from other partners including DFID.

They have also put down deep roots, found good people to help with management, learnt how the market works and developed an effective approach to sales and payment collection.

Many of us at Ensemble are involved. Apart from the financial support, we are helping with the introduction of mobile technology and the integration of impact measurement. We provide mentoring in business development and we have just finished the design of their new web site

They have put forward a development plan for next few years that makes a lot of sense and we are working to help finance and support its implementation towards a target of benefitting 2 million households. That’s a lot of people!