The KeyMaker Model is a new way of looking at the mini-grid business.
It emphasizes the commercial opportunities that mini-grids “unlock”. Under the KeyMaker Model, the primary goal from an investor’s perspective is not only to sell electricity, but to get access to, process and trade natural resources that are owned by the village community and that are only accessible if reliable electricity supply, management capacities, logistics competences, capital, community relations, understanding of community decision making processes and other credentials become available on site. These credentials are usually equivalent to the capacities of a mini-grid operator. Consequently, the mini-grid operator diversifies his business to create a win-win situation, leveraging the community’s resources and know-how harvesting the resources and generating additional revenue for both the community and his own business.
In the POP project in Maisome Island, JUMEME has set up a KeyMaker Model around Tilapia fish trading on Lake Victoria involving tilapia collection, tilapia cage fishing, semi-processing, freezing, and marketing of tilapia, with gender inclusivity at center stage. This venture has been set up with a goal of improving the local economy of Maisome island via creating jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in various sectors such as: tilapia semi-processing; tilapia transportation; tilapia freezing; and fish feed production; and at the same time increase energy uptake from the locals (due to an improved economy) which in turn benefits JUMEME’s mini-grid business. Furthermore, JUMEME is looking to diversify its energy business via creating an energy Aqua-Culture nexus and create a break-through for the mini-grid sector in general, as the profitability of mini-grids means access to commercial finance and thus faster scaling opportunities.