Last updated: 25 May 2016
Togo Tilé is a solar cooking business that was established in the first half of 2014 by Seydou Coulibaly. Togo is his native village and Tilé means sun in Bambara. In the summer of 2014 Solar Cooking the Netherlands - KoZon concluded a two-year contract with him for a total of €15,000 to cover start-up costs of the business, a workshop, production and transport equipment and wage costs.
He started with the production and sale of CooKits and during the year expanded the assortment to include hay baskets and solar box cookers. There is a strong demand for hay baskets in particular: they sell 75 per month (mid-2015). Total monthly turnover reaches approx. €2,000.
Seydou now (2017) has 30 permanent staff plus a number of production employees and saleswomen. He has opened outlets in Segou, Bamako and Sikasso. His ultimate aim is to reach nationwide coverage. Indeed the women are able to pay the cooking equipment with the money they save on wood which means that this equipment is also affordable for poorer women. But Seydou does also and in particular look for his customers among the urban middle class.
- May 2017: Solar Cooking KoZon (SCK) stimulates ISC private enterprises - In 2014, Solar Cooking KoZon granted Togo Tilé, a Mali-based solar cooking business run by Seydou Coulibaly, an initial subsidy of 13,300 €. Two years later, it’s a thriving business with 30 staff members, five points of sale nationwide and an average monthly business volume of 9,000 €. The environment constitutes an important incentive: at sales demonstrations, at schools and universities, close attention is paid to the environmental aspects of solar cooking. For Seydou a contribution to the environment does not end with the sale of the product. Togo Tilé continues to support its customers for some time after the sale, to ensure that the products are truly integrated in daily cooking, to provide a lasting positive contribution to the environment. After extensive analysis of the business, Togo Tilé was selected by a government programme in Mali focused on stimulating private enterprise. A business expansion plan was established that included the construction of a bigger workshop and the acquisition of a saw and a welding machine. Expenses: close to 47,000 €. Togo Tilé paid 5.000 €, and the Mali government and Solar Cooking The Netherlands KoZon paid half each. Now Togo Tilé can meet the increasing demand for solar cooking appliances in Mali.
- September 2016: Solar Cooking KoZon reports that a sturdy solar box cooker developed by Henk Blok together with students of the Free University and the University of Amsterdam continues to be popular at the Togo Tilé retail store. Henk and Marjan Blok paid the start-up costs for the experiment with these boxes in Mali. Piet Sluimer, a member of the Techniques Work Group, has developed a cheaper cardboard solar box cooker (the smaller box on the right) which is also selling well.
- See Solar Cooking KoZon.