23. BBOXX

Providing the world’s poorest with access to affordable electricity

Founders: Christopher Baker-Brian, Mansoor Mohammad Hamayun and Laurent Van Houke
Founded: March 2010
Website: www.bboxx.co.uk

While not the only start-up looking to emerging markets for opportunity, BBOXX it is the only start-up we’ve seen with such enormous ambition – both in terms of business growth and social impact. The business develops portable solar products, which provide electricity to those in rural communities with no grid access. In the past couple of months, BBOXX launched in Sudan, having previously established a presence in Rwanda, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia and Ethiopia.

The founders grew the business as a spin-off from Imperial College charity e.quinox, which develops methods of distributing renewable energy in developing countries. BBOXX, as a for-profit enterprise, hopes to make an impact beyond the charity’s reach.

Startups 100 by Startups.co.uk