We train apprentices for 1-3 months alongside an already trained mason. While they work with the trained mason, they learn not only about the technique of mixing the correct proportions, recognizing sufficient compaction, and troweling, but also about how to
How are Rwandans reacting to your floors?
After learning and understanding our product, people are thrilled to see a product that looks like concrete (and sometimes looks even better)! Additionally, people are used to seeing cracks in concrete, and are therefore ecstatic to see a floor that
Why are you a for-profit organization in Rwanda and Uganda?
We are a for-profit in Rwanda and Uganda because we strive to be a financially sustainable organization rather than remaining subsidized by grants indefinitely. Having customers pay for their floor ensures that EarthEnable is accountable to customers and that customers
Are customers able to pay for your floors at the current price?
Our customers are generally poor, living in rural Rwanda and Uganda. Even though our price is 70% cheaper than concrete, it can be expensive for them to pay out of pocket. Thus, we give customers the option to pay in
Why don’t you use cement?
Cement is expensive all over the world but it is especially expensive in Rwanda and Uganda. Most cement is imported and these countries’ landlocked geography raises transportation costs of a heavy material. The high price of cement is why many
Why Rwanda and Uganda?
Rwanda was our first country and a great place for us to launch the business for several reasons. First, there is significant demand for floors in Rwanda because concrete prices are especially high in Rwanda given that it is a
What is the evidence that earthen floors can make an impact?
There are multiple studies which cite dirt floor replacement as a possible health intervention with potential for big impact in the developing world. A study conducted in Mexico showed that replacing a dirt floor with a concrete floor has the
How long do earthen floors last?
In the US, earthen floors last 20-30 years as long as they are maintained with a fresh coat of varnish every few years. In Rwanda, given that floors are typically washed every day, we anticipate that the floor will last
What percentage of customers must pay for the floors vs. get them for free?
Roughly 10% of our clients get free floors, but this is exclusively for new technique testing. For example, we install free “innovation floors” for our masons to test a new technique a few times each year (e.g. a new material,
Are you a non-profit, for profit or hybrid?
EarthEnable has a hybrid organizational structure. EarthEnable, Incorporated is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in the United States that 100% owns EarthEnable Rwanda and EarthEnable Uganda, both of which are for-profit enterprises in Rwanda and Uganda. This structure reflects our deep