The BioSmart Initiative

Biosmart is a student-run and funded social enterprise that aims to alleviate fuel poverty through both environmentally and culturally sustainable means. As a collective, they create and commercialise Biochar, which is a sustainable alternative to charcoal using agricultural waste from the respective local areas in Kadzinuni, Kenya, Zanzibar and Tanzania that goes on to either be sold on or used as fuel. Not only is it better for the environment, but it also creates sustainable incomes for local communities.

April 2022

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Biochar is produced by burning agricultural waste, using University of Exeter designed furnaces, creating the Biochar, which goes on to be pressed into briquettes and sold within the respective markets. Biochar emits 50% less carbon dioxide than charcoal, aiding the global aim for environmental sustainability and creating a healthier home environment for those using the product.
The BioSmart team have been working in Kadzinuni for several years. Before founding the Kadzinuni Biochar Group, community members travelled up to three hours a day to collect illegal firewood to power their homes. This task typically fell on the shoulders of women, leaving them without their own income, thus reliant on their husbands. Biosmart work with a team of local women who make an income from Biochar sales while maintaining their social and cultural needs.
Zanzibar is BioSmart’s newer branch of the project, where they are still in the preliminary stages of expansion. The focus here is predominantly on the environmental benefits of implementing Biochar in place of fossil fuels.
Funding from the Matthew Good Foundation will help BioSmart re-establish the project after the pandemic dramatically stalled progress due to market closures and lockdown restrictions. To ensure production can continue, they also need to replace the initial furnaces and order more biochar briquette presses.

“The BioSmart Initiative is committed to its values of environmental and cultural sustainability. We are at a very important stage in our project expansion, readjusting to working in a post-COVID world. This grant is fundamental to jumpstart our project back into operating, as we can gather necessary information from our Kenyan and Tanzanian partners so that our Exeter-based team can continue to make both informed and exciting entrepreneurial decisions in the months to come. Thank you so much for shortlisting our project, it means the world.”


The BioSmart Initiative

“I was so impressed when I met Juliette, Josh and Mia. They are all so passionate about this project and the positive impact it has on both people and the environment. All the students involved volunteer their time to work on this social enterprise and are responsible for all fundraising. Funds from the Matthew Good Foundation will help get this project back on track after the pandemic and kick-start the exciting next stage which will see them expand into more areas and increase their impact.”

Michelle Taft

Executive Director, Matthew Good Foundation

Latest Project Updates

April 2022

Granted £1,000

After becoming one of the top five finalists in the latest Grants for Good Round, £1,000 was granted.