What we should know about you
Questions answered by Katrin Pütz, Founder & CEO
1. Imagine yourself/yourselves 5 years ago in comparison to the situation you are in today. Which achievements surprise you the most?
Five years ago, the first (B)energy business was set up in Ethiopia together with local partners, incl. local manufacturing. It was the first and only biogas business and, since then, the last that tried to compete with the national biogas program financed by western donors. Today, (B)energy operates from Germany and works with many independent entrepreneurs all over Africa and the world, who implement the business by themselves, independent of foreign funding.
2. What is your biggest success as an entrepreneur?
All successes have to do with local partners trusting in (B)energy! Trusting us enough to take the risk to invest into a business with biogas technology to take responsibility for a local energy problem. This success peaks in having an amazing African investor in (B)energy who believes in our aid-free approach.
3. What recommendation would you give to someone who thinks about starting a social enterprise?
As a social business, we have responsibility for human rights and especially for the dignity of the people we work for. Dignity has a lot to do with being taken seriously and fully capable of dealing with one’s situation. This means that a social business can never be established and run based on external, foreign funding, but should always be designed in a way that it can exist and flourish with what is locally available. Everything else ends up in market distortion and putting other social businesses out of business. As Muhammad Yunus says: “Alms are the worst form of insult and a degradation of the poor.”
- epAward Winner 2013
- Ausgezeichneter Ort 2017
- Johanna Löwenherz Preis 2020
- European Solar Prize 2020