Our Impact


Startle builds impact enterprises.  Measurement of our impact is part of our DNA.  We report and project our social and environmental impact alongside our financial measures.

We use the IRIS Metrics  of GIIN the Global Impact Investment Network.

IRIS metrics are used to measure and structure the reporting for social, environmental and financial performance of an investment.  Startle is a registered user of these metrics.




Diarrheal disease and pneumonia are the leading causes of death amongst under 5's across the world, exceeding deaths from malaria, HIV/AIDS and measels combined. Research has shown that adopting hand washing is the most cost effective solution to address child mortality.

However, many interventions are beyond the reach of these communities. Therefore, by providing a practical and effective solution, we hope to significantly contribute to the widespread uptake of hand washing and save up to 3.2 lives for every 1,000 bags distributed. 

Only 15% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa had basic handwashing facilities with soap and water at home in 2015
— World Health Organisation

Access to Energy

As of mid-2017, 62.5% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa did not have access to electricity.
— World Economic Forum

A majority of communities in Africa, mostly in rural areas do not have access to power in spite of many organisations entering the market to provide off-grid solar powered electricity.

Many lower income consumers face unaffordable up front costs to access off-grid solar electricity. To overcome this barrier we freely provide access to our off-grid solar powered equipment, and customers only pay for the energy they consume. By doing this we:

  • open up the energy market to those who had been previously priced out

  • make damaging alternative power sources redundant (kerosene lamps and batteries)

Poverty and Inequality


With the lowest income families living on less than $1.25 per day even the smallest savings can have a big impact on communities. We focus on creating affordable solutions so they are accessible to more consumers and also allow for customer savings.

We work closely with communities on the ground and employ local teams. We offer a higher wage than local rates so that we can support wealth generation throughout the community. In order to address the huge gender inequality that many women face on a regular basis, we focus on giving as much employment opportunity as possible to women in these communities.

Education and Productivity


Previously many small business owners and students were suffering a loss in productivity as they could not continue working into the evenings as they did not have a viable lighting solution.

By accessing affordable lighting solutions through our off-grid solar powered electrical equipment, businesses can stay open longer and children can study in the evening. 

With a previous solution developed by our Founders, we have already created 8.8 million days of productivity and educational time. We are excited to add to this with our current ventures and reach even more communities.



CO2 emission reduction

Tropical ecosystems have historically been a huge sink for carbon dioxide emissions and imperative to preserving the biodiversity of the planet. However, deforestation and the disturbance of valuable forest ecosystems has impacted the forest's ability to help absorb the world's carbon emissions, which since 1970 have increased by approximately 90%. In Africa, production of cooking fuels, mainly charcoal, are a key contributor to extensive deforestation across the continent.

We address the root of the problem and provide communities with sustainably sourced cooking fuels made from alternative biomass, which are accessible and affordable for all. 

Graph shows CO2 emission reduction achieved to date by current and past ventures, and projected offset based on current ventures

As discussed above deforestation is linked to CO2 emissions, which we address by building cooking fuel businesses that are not reliant on the deforestation of valuable wooded regions to supply communities with cooking fuels. 

Combined with our work in the off-grid solar powered energy sector we aim to further reduce CO2 emissions. To date our historic ventures have offset over 95,000 tonnes of CO2. Our latest solar powered energy solution will continue to have impact on CO2 emission reductions. 

Access to renewable energy also offsets the purchase of inefficient batteries, thereby reducing the number of batteries discarded into the environment. So far our past ventures have prevented over 7 million batteries being discarded into the environment. 


The Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) came into effect in January 2016 and are "a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity."  The SDG's are governed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) but can only be achieved through the collaborative effort and collective work of government, private sector, civil society and ultimately the individual. 

As an organisation, Startle aims to alleviate poverty, improve health & well-being, protect the environment and create economic opportunity. Our aims are closely aligned with the SDG's (as shown below), and are achieved across our businesses.  You can find out more about which ventures address specific SDG's by visiting our individual venture websites.


SDG’s being addressed by Startle