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Entrepreneurs are bringing light to Nepal – and you

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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For the one in five people around the globe who currently lack electricity in their homes and businesses, available and affordable energy resources are critical to their community’s efforts to reduce poverty, improve public health, and increase educational opportunities. These are primary drivers behind the United Nation’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. This initiative’s first objective is to “ensure universal access to modern energy services.”

Many groups are taking this to heart, developing strategic plans designed to systematically increase energy access. Entrepreneurs like Dr. Laura Stachel are using solar power to bring light to clinics throughout Africa, Asia, and Central America. Other groups, like Empower Generation, are focusing on bringing light to homes throughout Nepal.

In Nepal, 60% of the population currently lives without access to electricity. For this more than 17 million people that means less hours to read, work, and study. It also means millions of people who regularly depend on dangerous lighting options including indoor kerosene lanterns.

Today, there are options available to replace these lanterns with solar lights, including one offered by social entrepreneurs at Empower Generation. This group is working to connect women in Nepal with technology suppliers. In doing so, they hope to build a sustainable network that will bring light to the 17 million Nepalese households that currently sit in the dark.

The company was founded by two indisputably passionate individuals, Anya and Bennett. According to the company, their story started like this:

“Anya was looking to offer sustainable employment to women otherwise vulnerable to slavery while Bennett was thinking about how to enable the widespread adoption of clean energy in developing countries.

Together, co-founders Anya and Bennett identified a tremendous opportunity to create gender and energy paradigm shifts by empowering women to become clean energy entrepreneurs.”

And, while their goal is to bring light to Nepal, their current primary fundraiser makes these lights available to anyone with access to their website. Through a give-one, get-one offer, those who give a solar light or light/charger combo to a family in Nepal will then get one for their own use as well. The company’s goal is to send 200 units to Nepal through this offer, laying the foundation for millions more.

For more information on Empower Generation’s Give One, Get One offer – website.

Photo Credit: Photos used in this post by empowergeneration.

Melissa C. Lott About the Author: An engineer and researcher who works at the intersection of energy, environment, technology, and policy. Follow on Twitter @mclott.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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