Bringing life-changing products to people who need them most: the millions living in poverty in India’s urban slums.
Pollinate Energy is a not-for-profit social business with a simple mission: to improve the lives of India’s urban poor. They recruit and train local female entrepreneurs or ‘Pollinators’ who provide a door-to-door service in urban slum communities selling and servicing clean energy technologies such as solar lights and non-kerosene cookstoves.
Funds raised: $28,250
In May 2015, Pollinate pitched to The Funding Network and raised $28,250 towards the expansion of its operations into Kolkata - to set up a local office, recruit and train 15 new Pollinators (including six women) and purchase the necessary stock-in-trade.
Energy poverty means the absence of simple things that we sometimes take for granted, such as electrical lighting and clean energy cooking facilities. A lack of access to modern energy services acts as a fundamental barrier to human well-being, education and economic development. Globally there are over 1.3 billion people without access to electricity and over 300 million of these people are in India.
Pollinate Energy started on the outskirts of Bangalore back in late 2012, bringing clean energy and economic opportunity to some of the poorest communities in the world. To date, the Kolkata operation has sold 524 lights and reached 110 slum communities (an estimated 2620 people) - bringing clean safe lighting into hundreds of homes without compromising the family's health or household budget.
'Pollinating' also improves the economic prospects and personal circumstances for the Pollinators and their families, enabling an entrepreneurial workforce to achieve greater financial security while improving community health and well-being. Each Pollinator is assigned a region of the city which becomes the foundation of their business, from where they steadily build relationships with the communities they discover to ensure a sustainable future for their business. Soma, one of the Kolkata Pollinators, used to make Rs 500 per month - too little to pay for her son's studies and sometimes, not even enough to buy food. Now she works with Pollinate Energy, she is able to manage financially and is able to put small amounts away towards a better future for herself and her family.
With each passing month, Kolkata Pollinators are reaching more and more un-electrified households while gathering important insights into how best to deliver improved household energy alternatives within these communities, including clean cookstoves and solar fans. Pollinate Energy is lighting up India, household by household, one city at a time.
Read their Impact Report