August was the month when the rubber really hit the road! #RealFi really became real.
We believe that in a world first, the first Empowa “lease-to-owners” moved into their quality climate resilient affordable homes, funded through the sale of NFTs. This provides the starting point for Empowa to validate some of our assumptions and work through some of the realities of #RealFi. There really is no Testnet for #RealFi, so this provides real working examples and data.
I wish that we could bottle the excitement and enthusiasm of these families as they move into their homes! Huge thanks to you — the community — for enabling this. Thanks also, to World Mobile for partnering with us to bring affordable internet and affordable housing to one of the poorest countries in the world on a sustainable basis.
We have changed the lives of 30 families. Together, we are going to improve the lives of millions more. Thank you for joining our journey.
On the Ground Project Pipeline Development
In the last few months Empowa’s delivery partner in Mozambique, Casa Real, launched its lease-to-buy program successfully with investments from Empowa. Casa Real is at the moment the only affordable housing company in Mozambique providing quality housing that the majority of Mozambicans can actually afford. This is unleashing a strong response from various public and private institutions in Mozambique that are now chasing Casa Real to start providing affordable and quality housing for their employees. Casa Real is assessing these propositions and is in discussions with Empowa about which ones of these projects may be funded through Empowa next.
Empowa signed an MoU with a major affordable housing developer in Nigeria in August. This developer aims to develop 3.000 green and affordable homes on the Nigerian market over the next 5 years. In this MoU, Empowa commits to finance the first phase of investment for a lease-to-buy scheme covering 350 Nigerian households.
Sil Schaars, a dual degree Master’s Student from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, started her internship with Empowa at the beginning of September. Sil is currently studying Building Physics and Services and Innovation Sciences. She will be joining the Casa Real team for the coming 3 months and has been based in Beira, Mozambique, since September 3rd.
Post the inevitable increase in support required at the start of the NFT sale the community team have turned their focus to reviewing all the questions and comments that came during the NFT sales and has identified projects to improve the support to the community
- Empowa Wiki; the structure was defined and the scope for the first version of the Empowa wiki has been appointed. This wiki will allow people to find all the necessary information in one place supporting our website.
- Subtitles in videos; research was done into tools that can help us efficiently add subtitles to all our video content after we received feedback that a significant group of viewers prefer to watch content silently. Some tests with different software have taken place.
- Discord environment for NFT holders; Discord has been chosen and prepared to engage with the NFT community. The support team has successfully integrated and tested the Hazelbot. NFT holders have commenced verifying their wallets in discord.
- Written summaries of important events; there have been requests to provide more summarised information in textual format. This capability has been tested and obtained. The content will be added to the Empowa wiki.
- An NFT sales review form was designed to gather feedback from NFT purchasers more swiftly just after sales. You can respond to this form here.
- The technical support process through the Jira Service Desk system has been optimised. Support team members have been trained and are able to track and support issues more efficiently.
In summary, most of our efforts in August have been to develop capabilities to improve information delivery and accessibility for the community. It is our goal to make it easy to learn about Empowa and to follow its progress.
World Mobile and Empowa Seed NFT Update
At the time of writing our first NFT done in collaboration with World Mobile has sold nearly 1 500 of the 3 000 NFTs. The sale will close on the 30th of September when the policy locks.
We are proud of the impact that collection on the lives of the 30 families who received the opportunity to own their homes. You can view just one of the stories in the video below.
We will also complete a full report back on the impact made to date with the NFT holders in an exclusive feedback event on the 17th. If you are an NFT holder and have not yet signed up for the event please head over to our Discord server and verify your wallet to gain exclusive access. Click here to join our Discord server.
If you are still considering purchasing an NFT you can do so here.
For those wondering when and how you can claim your monthly rewards, we wrote a post about the process here.
As a team, we have already begun to review this first sale and identify areas for improvement. This will be combined with feedback from our community and ultimately we will release a public review of the sale that will look at what we felt we did well and where we could improve. We will also unpack how we plan to improve for subsequent NFT sales. Please click here to complete the form if you would like to provide some feedback on our first NFT collection.
Since launching our cobranded NFT with World Mobile we have continued to discuss cobranded NFT collaborations with a number of other large Cardano projects. The details will be shared as soon as they have been finalised but we are talking to projects in the DeFi, play-to-earn, metaverse and artistic verticles to explore future releases that have added utility over and above the rewards earned and impact made.
We are also weeks away from finalising some key partnership details at which time we’ll be able to share the specifics, but we can already confirm that we are planning to launch double yield farming on MuesliSwap, will be launching a staking offering that is tied to the funding of houses and will be launching our token on at least one CEX. So we are expecting a busy September filled with value-adding partnerships
Affordable Housing Academy
Empowa aims to be a large and impactful property developer without actually developing properties. The delivery of these quality and affordable homes is done by local affordable housing developers with whom Empowa partners. These local organisations know best what their communities need and can afford.
As Africa has so few affordable housing developers active on the ground currently, Empowa launched an affordable housing academy (AHA) earlier this year. We mobilised 25 individuals with an entrepreneurial mindset and a drive to start making Africa’s housing sector work for all. Quite a few of them tried to kick-start affordable housing ventures on the African continent for years but failed as systems do not work.
From June to August they joined a business course at the European Business University of Luxembourg. We are in discussions with the participants that completed the EBU-course successfully in order to select those that will proceed to AHA’s next phase: the development of a business plan for their first housing development on the ground. We will keep you updated on how these affordable housing entrepreneurs proceed in their AHA-journey!