Thelma Venichand

General Manager, ZOE Enterprise, Lda.

Thelma is a social entrepreneur and pioneer in ethanol based clean cooking in Mozambique and possibly the first business oriented ethanol based clean cooking project in the world. Thelma started ZOE Enterprise, Lda. (ZOE) in 2006 and introduced ethanol gel cooking fuel (gelfuel) in the Mozambican market. In 2011 liquid ethanol fuel and a new clean cook stove were introduced in Mozambique. The brand name of the product is NDZiLO meaning fire/flame in the local language. A win/win business model proved to be successful and benefitted the collaborators and the whole community.Within 2 years, supported by a team of motivated and hardworking women and men, ethanol clean cook stoves were sold to 35,000 low income families.Over 100 young women and men from the communities found a productive activity. 245 micro groceries in the poor neighborhoods sell NDZiLO products.Thousands of women have improved their quality of life using NDZiLO, for instance through the prevention of respiratory health diseases and deforestation.