Head and Heart of (B)energy GmbH
Katrin Puetz is the head and heart of (B)energy, a social business that promotes mobile biogas technology in developing countries with one strict rule: no aid money involved. Her aim is to make biogas an attractive source of cooking energy by giving it a price. Since she developed the biogas backpack in 2010, small scale biogas producers can earn an income with the sale of biogas while biogas buyers get easy access to clean cooking energy. (B)energy is her way to prove that social business can provide an alternative to development aid.
Her current mission requires a great variety of practical and theoretical skills which she gained during the year of working as cabinet maker (2000-2003, Germany), bull catcher (2003-2005, Australia), bread baker, cheese maker and roof tiler in the Swiss Alps while studying ecological impact assessment at Koblenz University (2005-2008). After coordinating local agronomists in an Agroforestry project in Rwanda as scientific assistant in 2008 she decided to change her professional field to agricultural engineering. It was during the time of her M.Sc. studies that she developed the biogas backpack at the Institute for Agricultural Engineering, Hohenheim University. After a 2.5 year research and development period as assistant professor in the Tropics and Subtropics Group of the Institute of Agricultural Engineering she was requested by Addis Ababa University in 2013 to test her technologies in Ethiopia in a one year pilot phase. In April 2014 she founded (B)energy as a German franchise company. She stayed in Ethiopia for another 3 years until March 2017 to support her first franchisees with business development and setting up local manufacturing for all (B)energy mobile biogas components. She is now back in Germany to prepare (B)energy for expansion to other countries across the globe.