Stakeholders

Sodigaz-cooking-stove-roundedToyola has a number of influential stakeholders. One of the main stakeholders for them is the end-user. A large number of their new clients purchase their stoves based on word-of-mouth from their friends and family. Thus, the end-user satisfaction is particularly important in the creation of demand. About 50% of Toyola's sales are done through distributors. These distributors act as the face of the company to the end-user and thus are an important piece of their business. The other 50% of sales are done directly by the company's mobile salesmen. These are door-to-door salesmen that are directly employed by Toyola who drive a van full of stoves around communities to sell. All of the end-users surveyed reported a very good interaction with both the distributors and the van salesmen.

It is this marketing/sales strategy that sets Toyola apart from its direct competitors. The head entrepreneur believes that the direct competitors are not one of the most influential stakeholders due to Toyola's prominence in the market. Indirect competitors, such as LPG, pose an even lower impact. The majority of Ghanaians are already using charcoal or wood as their cooking fuel and the Toyola stoves do not require any real behavior change. While the stoves do involve a larger up-front cost than traditional stoves, the cost is considerably lower than the up-front costs associated with LPG.

On the supply side, the clay and metal components suppliers represent important stakeholders. Without these inputs, Toyola would not be able to manufacture the stoves. Toyola works with 17 clay and 100 metal component suppliers in 15 different locations. Toyola has worked with 2 different scrap metal suppliers for the last 5 years. They have weekly interactions and Toyola's head entrepreneur has described it as a good working relationship. There have, however, been some irregular supply issues, which prohibit Toyola from keeping up with demand.

The enabling environment also has a major impact on Toyola's business. UNEP and its local partner, KITE, have been influential for Toyola. Toyola used the AREED loan to expand their business and it has been growing at 30% per year. Toyola is considering attracting other investors.

The government also can play a major role in creating an enabling environment. Up until this point, they have not been very involved, though the Ministry of Energy has been more involved than the Ministry of the Environment. The government tax collectors have not had any major impact on the enterprise's business. A professional association could be used to influence government, but currently Toyola is not a member of any association.