Energy storage got a lot of attention at InterSolar last month. If developed countries such as the United States and Germany are seriously looking at batteries to integrate more renewable energy to fight climate change, another fight is going on elsewhere: bring light to the 1 billion people who do not have access to electricity. And I am not talking about charity here. A new kind of social enterprises is choosing a for-profit business model to fuel growth and have a bigger social impact.
Meet Michelle Lacourciere of Sirona Cares Foundation (picture left) and meet Peter Glenn of Fenix International (picture right) with two interns from top business schools. Michelle’s path crossed the one of Pastor Honore who runs an orphanage in Haiti. Their relationship changed from charitable dependency to self-reliance thanks to a solar station. Peter decided to join Fenix International, a start-up in San Francisco, after spending 4 years in East Africa, to provide power for all whether one lives in Kansas or in Kenya. These are their stories.