Flow Power and Pollinate partner to fight poverty

Group of "Suryamukhi", women aged 18-54 from various regions across India and Nepal, sit in circle listening to a female speaker (Flow Pollinate)
Image: Pollinate Group

Renewable energy innovator Flow Power is helping to transform lives in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities through its partnership with Pollinate Group, a global social enterprise that empowers women micro-entrepreneurs in India and Nepal.

Flow Power is supporting Pollinate to train and support women from marginalised communities to distribute products such as solar lights and fans, water filters, clean cooking stoves and sanitary products, resulting in cleaner, safer and healthier communities.

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Flow Power is funding the provision of solar lights for 2,000 households in India and Nepal, with the goal of supporting 11,200 people to access clean and reliable electricity, reducing CO2 emissions by 10,468 tonnes and fuel costs by more than $190,000.

“We are thrilled to partner with Pollinate Group and support their work providing access to safe and sustainable energy solutions to underprivileged communities,” Flow Power regulatory policy and corporate affairs manager Declan Kelly said.

“We’re passionate about the opportunities clean energy creates, and this partnership with Pollinate offers those opportunities to communities where clean energy can lift people out of poverty and improving their health outcomes.”

Pollinate Group CEO Sujatha Ramani said, “We are excited to partner with Flow Power to make a deep and lasting impact on these under-served communities by helping them generate income sustainably. The program will minimise their usage of biomass, coal and harmful fuels such as kerosene, replacing them with solar products.”

Pollinate has set an ambitious goal of distributing 1.5 million solar products by the end of 2025, empowering 10,000 women, and improving the lives of 10 million people across India and Nepal. The products, distributed by the micro-entrepreneurs, or “Suryamukhi”, have to date helped communities save more than $31 million and reduced 1,540,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Pollinate was founded in 2012 by six young Australians wanting to address poverty and improve access to clean, safe energy in India, where they saw marginal communities using toxic fuels such as kerosene. Their concept eventually evolved to focus on women as the agents of change.

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“In the past five years we’ve worked with 1800 women who are really standing up in their communities as role models,” Pollinate Group philanthropy manager Joe Manger said.

“And what we’ve found consistently is that once you lift one woman up and other women in the community can see what that looks like, it’s a massive ripple effect, and the result is these empowered women are able to lift their communities out of poverty. The women are the heroes of our work.”

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