Arthur, 1st Runner up, Total Startupper of the year
Arthur is the 1st Runner up of the Total Startupper of the year challenge in Uganda. He is also the CEO and Founder of Khainza Energy. He is passionate about renewable energy. His submission in the competition is about the production of biogas (methane) from wastes for commercial sale. The biogas can be used for cooking, lighting and production of electricity (motive energy). Biogas is cleaner, purer, healthier and more convenient (time saving) compared to conventional methods of cooking like firewood and charcoal (biomass).
Arthur, congratulations! How does it feel to be the winner of the Total Startupper challenge?
It feels really great to be one of the winners of the Total Startupper Challenge. Initially, when discussing the sustainability and feasibility of the project, there was quite some skepticism; however as I progressed in the competition, I knew that I was definitely on the right course. Emerging the 1st runner up was a realisation that my efforts had been identified and appreciated by Total, a global energy company. This goes to show that that if you have a passion and you dedicate your efforts towards making it a reality, you can definitely get there. I’m grateful to Total for this immense opportunity.
Why is this project important to you?
This project is very important to me because renewable energy is something big, something for the future, something I want to be a part of. Each time I visit my village in Sironko District, my heart feels heavy when I see women and children spending a lot of time collecting and using firewood. They would be engaging in income generating activities and education instead. The soot from using charcoal and firewood is very harmful to their health. Using biogas as an energy source puts us in line to work towards a number of Millennium Development Goals concerning climate change, women and girl child empowerment, improved health and poverty alleviation.
Tell us about your experience in the Total Startupper competition?
My experience in the Total Startupper competition was exhilarating but also challenging! From the beginning stage of proposal writing to presentation, I went through a lot of experiences that shaped me in terms of business and entrepreneurship. From the coaching we got from the Intelligent Performance team, I learnt that entrepreneurship is not for the fainthearted. There are crises after crises and in many of the cases, one just has to trust their gut instinct and act upon it. I acquired skills in finance, marketing and human resource management. I was also taught about how to look at the project from an investor’s angle and how to pitch it that way. I met so many great people who will be very vital to the future of my company. It was a once in a lifetime experience.
What does winning this competition mean for your project?
We started this project early last year but the journey has been quite challenging to access funding and build a portfolio. The Total Startupper Challenge gave our company a lot of exposure and we are now receiving a number of clients because of it. Our plan is to scale up the sales of our biogas to 10,000 households within the next two years. This prize is an immense boost towards the actualisation of Khainza Energy’s goals and objectives.
“Find your niche and exceed all expectations.”
2015 - Present
CEO & Founder, Khainza Energy
2014 - 2015
Informal Construction of Small Scale Biogas Digesters in Sironko District
2013 - 2014
Training at National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Mbale District
2012 - 2013
Training at Nyanza Textile Industries, Jinja District
2009 - 2014
Undergraduate, BSc. Mechanical Engineering