Meet Tom Osborn, a 19-year old Kenyan Entrepreneur who is the brainchild of GreenChar, a clean energy start-up that produces charcoal briquettes for cooking purposes that are both healthier to use and last longer.
Osborn’s inspiration behind starting GreenChar was based on a concern for the health of his community, particularly his mom. Growing up in Awendo, a small town in Kenya, he watched how women in the community would cook meals for their families on charcoal-fuelled cookstoves. And as a young child, it was Osborn’s duty to light the cookstove for his mother every day for lunch.
But in high school he discovered something that worried him. “I randomly came across a report saying smoke from firewood and charcoal killed more people than AIDS, Malaria and TB combined,” he explained.
“That really shocked me and made me start thinking of my mom, and that maybe she was slowly dying from all the times she had cooked for us. And I felt guilty because I was one of the people she was cooking for. So I wanted to try to help her.”