Social Enterprise in Madagascar: Tackling Sanitation and Energy Challenges

You may know that Kiva not only partners with Microfinance institutions, but also with schools, associations, and social enterprises. Given my keenness for learning about different social enterprise models, I was stoked to find out that as part of my Fellowship, I was tasked with finding leads for new potential Kiva partners in Madagascar. This gave me the chance to meet (dropping Kiva’s name in cold emails worked wonders!) and learn about organizations currently tackling environment conservation, health, sanitation and energy challenges across Madagascar.

I was particularly wowed by two organizations: Loowatt and HERi


In Madagascar, the majority of the population doesn’t have access to sanitation facilities and after four months of living in the country, I can confirm that open defecation and ‘flying toilets’ are common. According to The World Bank, in 2015, 12% of population had access to improved sanitation facilities (

To tackle this issue, Loowatt is currently rolling out a “waste-to-value urban sanitation pilot system with 100 household toilets in Antananarivo”, Madagascar’s capital city.
In my own words: Loowatt rents out toilets (innovative waterless/odorless design) to private households, collects the human waste once a week, and turns it into electricity and fertilizer. Watt!?

I was lucky enough to get to visit the under-construction treatment centre for their new pilot project and learned about the potential franchise model that they may adopt once the pilot is successful. Oh yeah, and they are funded by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (enough said!).   

Check out Loowatt's site:


It’s easy to guess that electricity is not widespread in Madagascar. According to The World Bank, in 2012, 15.4% of the population had access to electricity (

HERi, another notable social enterprise, is seeking to bring renewable and affordable energy to rural areas in Madagascar. Basically, HERi has developed these uber-cool solar powered energy kiosks. They install these kiosks in rural villages that are not connected to the national energy grid, and train local women entrepreneurs to operate the kiosks as franchisees. The primary product offered to the villagers are lamps that are charged at the kiosk during the day and then rented out at night for less than the cost of candles or kerosene. Aww, social enterprise!    

Check out HERi's site:
Only time will tell whether HERi and Loowatt will become Kiva partners, however if you’re curious to learn about other neat social enterprises that are currently Kiva partners, here are a few favorites:


About the author

Andreanne Yaghi

With over seven years of work experience in the Private Sector, Andreanne is committed to re-orienting her career to one that will have a greater social impact. She is motivated by the concept of using strategic and innovative business principles to solve social issues and is undertaking a ‘year of learning through volunteering’ prior to starting her MBA at the University of Oxford in September. After first dipping into this new sector through part-time volunteering at the Impact Hub Dubai, Andreanne started her ‘year’ at Ashoka in Cairo, Egypt where she supported the Arab World Venture Team in the search and selection process of system-changing social entrepreneurs across the MENA region. She is now looking forward to starting her fellowship with Kiva in Madagascar to dive specifically into poverty alleviation. Andreanne’s past work experience was focused in Marketing and Project Management for large-scale commercial conferences and exhibitions in Canada, the US, the UAE, India, Indonesia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. She was born and raised in Canada and is of French Canadian and Lebanese ethnic origin.