Social enterprise Maji Milele recently partnered with UNTAPPED to provide financial aid to their water service clients who have a business case but not enough capital to purchase their products.
Having been in the market for six years now, Maji Milele has managed to scale to over 30 counties across Kenya. Their products, prepaid and smart water meters and ATM water dispensers have been very well received across the country due to their durability, reliability and improvement of financial management. However, a good number of the clients find the ATM dispensers a bit pricey.
“For about two months now, we have managed to create a solution for our clients who do not have enough capital to access the products. We are now able to provide lease-buy financing through our financial partner UNTAPPED.” said Marcel Schreurs, Managing Director Maji Milele.
For one to be eligible for the lease-buyy financing, they need to be able to pay a monthly fee to UNTAPPED. With the basic rule being the ability to generate three times the expected payment. For example, if the client pays 10,000 Kenya shillings monthly for a period of 24 months or 36 months, the typical revenue expected in this case would be 30,000 Kenya shillings or more.
Maji Milele also believes that through their products, Kenyans will be able to have access to clean water by vision 2030.
“The objective to achieve this goal is very achievable in Kenya and our products do play a role in achieving that.” says Marcel. He adds that their products have been able to ease revenue collection, offer transparency and reduce operational costs to their clients- water service providers.
Traditionally, the water sector was known as a difficult area for business but that is changing. However, both the private sector and financial institutions are beginning to change their mind and increasingly showing keen interest to enter the market by looking into potential areas where they can invest so as to boost the Kenyan water sector.
Maji Milele does not only offer prepaid meters to water service providers like Nairobi Water and many NGOs, they are also a private water service provider for 60,000 users, who thanks to Covid-19 support from Aqua for All, will get access to water at reduced rates for the next 6 months..
Through their partnership with the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre, they have managed to gain more visibility through platforms such as exhibitions where they showcase their products.
Despite user tokens having unique identities, they are not yet 100% safe: in case tokens are stolen someone else can use the token. However, in the next 3-4 months, Maji Milele plans on setting up a system that blacklists lost or misplaced tokens. Meaning if someone loses their token, they are able to contact their water service provider in order to blacklist it so no one else can use it.
The social enterprise recently started selling new type of prepaid meters, being ultrasonic meters and meters with sim cards, making the meters super accurate and ready for online monitoring, a product which Marcel believes will receive an enormous market and great feedback from their clients.
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