Understanding International Social Enterprise (4) – Energy Efficiency

Do you know that over 1.6 billion in the world lack access to electricity? That's why energy has been another critical approach to improve BoP households, as progressive technology improves the fundamental infrastructure in low-income communities and facilitates rural development. Hence, many entrepreneurs have implemented advanced energy technologies in developing countries such as solar power or biomass.

Consider Barefoot Power as an example: offering low-cost lighting to poor households in China and Sub Saharan Africa through AC and solar-powered LED lamps, Barefoot Power reduces rural areas' dependence on kerosene lighting thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To better distribute its products, Barefoot Power also incubates and finances local entrepreneurs, and therefore, simultaneously generates more job opportunities for rural residents by microfranchising.

Another energy innovation is biomass (wood, crop waste and animal dung) technology. The design of biomass cooking stoves, established by SustainTech India Pvt. Ltd, is expected to benefit rural households in India in the near future. Compared with traditional stoves using kerosene as the primary fuel, biomass cooking stoves can generate higher efficiency, save fuel costs, reduce environmental footprints, and improve health impacts.

See how better access to energy can result in improved health, security, and housing for rural residents? In the next blog post we'll present some excellent international social enterprises with a focus on education!

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