Advancing Change: Energy for India's Poor : Win upto US$ 5,00,000


The majority of India’s poor population has no access to affordable, let alone clean energy. Help ennovent find in India and around the world proven, for-profit solutions that can meet some of the critical energy needs of India’s poor.


Challenge Reward

SOLVER: USD 500,000

ennovent will invest up to

USD 500,000 to launch or 

scale the innovation in India


ennovent will pay USD 3,000

in cash for connecting to

the winning Solver

Challenge Brief

Inadequate access to energy is part of the poverty trap for the majority of India’s poor. Like anyone else, they need energy for example for cooking, lighting, domestic heating, or power for appliances. Dirty and unsafe energy sources such as kerosene and firewood lead to health hazards and take time away from productive livelihood activities. Earning around USD 3.- or less a day (local PPP), poor people in most cases cannot afford clean and safe sources of energy.

Despite massive investment by the Government of India in expanding access to electricity, many communities are still in need of services, especially those in remote areas. The private sector is already playing a key role in helping the government meet its goal to ensure energy for all. Investments into innovations - products, services, processes, and business models - are needed to bring clean, safe and affordable energy services to the Indian BoP market.

Evaluation Criteria

We will select and reward the winning enterprise based on the following evaluation criteria. The winning solution:

  • Provides affordable renewable energy to poor people earning around USD 3.- a day
  • Can be launched or scaled on a for-profit basis generating financial returns
  • Has already been tested and sold to first customers in India or another country
  • Is relatively cheap, simple and convenient to use
  • Will potentially have a positive social impact on a large number of poor people in India
  • Has no or minimal negative impact on the natural environment
  • Can easily be scaled up and replicated in India and other countries

Participant Requirements


  • Solver should be the sole owner of the Solution and related Intellectual Property Rights
  • Solver should own or manage a for-profit enterprise (not a NGO or university)
  • Enterprise can be from India or anywhere worldwide
  • Enterprise should be interested to launch or scale the innovation in India
  • Enterprise owner should be open to an investment by the Seeker (ennovent's Sustainable Enterprise Fund)


  • Any individual or legal entity worldwide
  • Connector requests Solver to submit its solution online
  • Provides a reason why this specific Solver should win this challenge

Evaluation Process

A multi-disciplinary team from ennovent Austria and India with support of local advisors will select 10 finalists. A panel of external judges representing our Indian and international partners, ennovent staff and the challenge sponsor (ennovent's Sustainable Enterprise Fund or SEF), will choose one winning solver among the 10 finalists. The Investment Committee of the SEF will have the right to reject a finalist, which does not meet the investment criteria of the SEF. The winning solver and connector will be celebrated and publicized.

To find out more and take part click here


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