How Tom Osborn Defied The Age Barrier and Founded a Sustainable Energy Company

Tom Osborn is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Greenchar, a clean energy company he founded in 2016, when he was 17 years old. Greenchar provides ecofriendly charcoal briquettes and clean cookstoves to Kenyan households.

Growing up in rural Kenya, Tom experienced firsthand the devastating effects of using charcoal and firewood to cook on traditional cookstoves.

Helping his mum prepare food as a young boy, he noticed the unhealthy and uncomfortable cooking environment where they prepared food every day.

Tom joined Kenya’s premier high school Alliance High School where he decided to do something for his mother and the 90 percent of Kenyan households that use charcoal and firewood as their main source of household energy. He put together a team and researched how they could provide alternative forms of household energy.

As soon as he completed his high school education, Tom founded Greenchar with the aim of transforming the Kenyan cooking environment.

Greenchar provides clean household energy solutions to Kenyan households. They provide smokeless, high energy, long lasting charcoal briquettes and clean cookstoves.

These briquettes are made from revitalized agricultural wastes thus providing a root to leaf utilization of agricultural crops.

These briquettes are not only unique because they are smokeless but because they are sourced from alternative charcoal sources like revitalized agricultural waste; indirectly combating deforestation.

Specially optimized for use of the briquettes, their clean cookstoves conserve heat, reduce emissions, and fuel use, enabling consumers to save time, money, and lives. By transforming the cooking environment, they reduce the devastating effects of deforestation and put a smile on the face of households and children in Kenya.

Today, Tom employs about 5 people, partners with prominent institutions like General Electric, MIT, and Echoing green, and its customers have reported that they experience efficiency and a cleaner cooking environment. Tom has also been featured on different media such as CNN, Forbes, CNBC Africa, Time, and KTN.

Greenchar is growing and is working to expand its market exponentially. It was recently listed as one of the Sustainia100 solutions and raised a lot of revenue from crowdfunding activities. Tom is doing great things, employing people and combating deforestation.

Tom is a winner of the Global Minimum Innovate Kenya, The Royal Commonwealth Society Young Persons Essay Award 2012 and is a Golden Climate Environmental Project Olympiad Silver Medalist.
Tom hopes that in the nearest future, Greenchar would be the ultimate provider of clean household energy solutions.

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