USAID Awards $767,000 Grant to Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and New Ventures India for Clean Energy Initiative
In an effort to lift one million of the 289 million people in India without electricity out of darkness, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University and New Ventures India (NVI) have been awarded a $767,000 grant for an Energy Access Investment Readiness Program. This public-private partnership, made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID, has the goal to enable delivery of clean, innovative, off-grid power to people in India who currently lack energy access.
Under the program, NVI will facilitate the investment of $41 million of impact capital over three years to support local social enterprises that are able to deliver clean energy. Already, close to $5 million has been committed to the program. Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) will train social entrepreneurs in India to help them become investment-ready and able to increase the reach of their businesses and resulting impact.
“This grant from USAID further validates Miller Center’s GSBI methodology, which helps social enterprises worldwide apply Silicon Valley business principles to scale their impact,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. “GSBI mentors will work in India with the social entrepreneurs and continue mentoring them remotely as the entrepreneurs build partnerships, overcome business model challenges, and obtain investments. We believe social entrepreneurship is an effective agent for change to address serious global issues including energy poverty and climate change.”
Addressing Energy Access and Climate Resilience
Of the 1.3 billion households globally without electricity access (World Energy Outlook, 2011), approximately 20 percent are in India. Entrepreneurs seeking to supply clean energy products and services to these households face numerous challenges in entering the market, overcoming barriers to scaling their operations, and accessing managerial and technical talent, and limited working capital. Miller Center’s GSBI methodology, combined with NVI’s ability to source funding from local impact investors and foundations, is expected to help overcome these challenges.
“The need for energy access in India is great,” said Sanjoy Sanyal, director of NVI. “This public-private partnership and grant from USAID promises to make a real difference in the lives and livelihoods of a million Indians, and the benefits will radiate out to their entire communities. This program signifies a shift towards building locally-led partnerships that can identify game-changing solutions in addressing development problems such as clean energy.”