There was a great highlighted technology over on Afrigadget that could lend itself to a branded microfranchise. It would be a briquette making business. There are other technology designs out there but the idea of a briquette making business is very appealing because it can address multiple issues in one intervention, i.e. as a business it would obviously seek to create jobs and increase incomes but selling briquettes would also bring some great positive benefits to the health of the family and the local environment.
The D-Lab out of MIT reminds us that charcoal is a smokeless fuel, cutting back on the indoor air pollution that leads to so many respiratory infections in children where there is open fire cooking in the home. In terms of the environment, charcoal can be made from agricultural waste which would otherwise be burned off as waste. This is particularly critical in a country like Haiti where deforestation is at a dire level. For a quick introduction to the technology GOOD Magazine did a great little article on this and other basic technologies a while back.
Has anyone has success or failure in attempting to launch a briquette making franchise. What were your greatest challenges?