Spotlight on: Impact Hub Cleantech Startup Solar Fountain
6 April 2016 - Impact Hub Berlin

Foundation of non-profit Solar Fountain to improve basic supply infrastructure in developing countries

Siemens Stiftung and Solarkiosk AG have jointly founded Solar Fountain gGmbH in Germany. The purpose of the non-profit organization is to give people in low-income regions of developing countries access to vital products and services. At the heart of this venture for basic supply infrastructure is a solar-powered kiosk that produces environmentally-friendly electricity, filters contaminated raw water, and offers products that are essential to everyday life. The kiosks will be run by micro-entrepreneurs who will contribute with their business activities to social, economic, and ecological development at local level.

Solarkiosk AG was founded in 2011 in Berlin. Designed by the Graft architecture firm, Solarkiosk AG’s kiosk ( product has won many awards and is already in widespread use in African countries. Six local associated companies run kiosks in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, and Botswana. By founding Solar Fountain gGmbH, Solarkiosk AG is seeking to increase its engagement in the non-profit sector in line with its company philosophy, by making the kiosks available for non-profit use. This enables even more remote areas to be supplied, and to include safe drinking water in the expanded range of products.

Siemens Stiftung is the company foundation of Siemens AG. It was founded in 2008 and takes on non-profit projects in the fields of basic services, education, and culture. Since 2010, Siemens Stiftung has been implementing water kiosks in East Africa. The “Safe Water Enterprises” provide access to clean drinking water by filtering untreated water from rivers, wells, or lakes through a membrane filter. With Solar Fountain gGmbH, Siemens Stiftung aims to establish a structure that allows further kiosks with a wider range on offer, including solar energy. This should reinforce the foundation’s objective to allow a better perspective for people in developing countries.

The partnership between the two organizations began in 2013 when Solarkiosk was recognized as the winner of the Siemens Stiftung “empowering people. Award”. The competition awards prizes to technical solutions that achieve a sustainable improvement in the basic services of developing regions. The expertise and experience of both partners is now being combined in Solar Fountain gGmbH to jointly strengthen the supply of basic services in developing countries.