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Hyderabad | Sep-16 | Women Entrepreneurs  Smart Villages


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Presenter : Shailaja Fennell

Published in: Science
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Hyderabad | Sep-16 | Women Entrepreneurs  Smart Villages

  1. 1. Women Entrepreneurs  Smart Villages Shailaja Fennell
  2. 2. Gender and Energy • Rural electrification programmes can provide benefits for women in terms of saving labour and time, improving health, security and income (World Bank 2006) • The reliance on burning biomass- fuelwood, animal dung and crop waste for household energy, from collection to use-creates risks and hardships that fall inordinately on women (IFAD 2014)
  3. 3. Role of renewables for women’s empowerment • Renewables hold great potential for improved quality of life for women because they ease the time and human energy needed to meet daily needs while helping to improve indoor air quality. • Women’s role in energy is so important that we need women to be involved in energy decision making. Renewables must be applied in a culturally sensitive manner and in such a way to actually meet women’s need. (GoI, 2013)
  4. 4. Women’s Entrepreneurship and Renewable Energy • Energy access provides opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship. • Women play a critical role in energy provision and consumption within households and communities -possess valuable knowledge relevant to sustainable energy solutions. • They can draw on their natural circles of family, friends and community for customers, which has been shown to be an effective way of distributing solar technology to rural households ( UN Women, 2016)
  5. 5. Dharnai, Bihar, a solar village
  6. 6. Women Entrepreneurs in the Energy Sector • Women already have a track record of functioning as effective entrepreneurs -many visibly successful organizations and networks like Gramin Shakti, SEWA, TIDE ,AIWC &SELCO) (All India Womens’ Congress, 2013) • “Women have a comparative advantage in this sector of work. The price of renewables has come down significantly, and if rural women have access to easy credit via microfinance, then they can work in the grassroots to drive a change in energy consumption behaviour on the ground. ” (Yannick Glenarec, UN Assistant Secretary General, on India’s energy policy, 2016)
  7. 7. Barefoot College and Solar Energy for India • Bunker Roy and Barefoot College (starting in the 1990s)-to teach grandmothers from all over the world how to build solar panels at a 6 month workshop • After the workshop the grannies go back to their villages, the villages get solar cells sponsored by the Indian government and the grannies will be the solar engineers capable of repairing. • The principle is that it is a disruptive experience- empowers these grandmothers-who have never ever left their village, to travel to a different location (even country) and train for 6 months (in a language they do not understand) to become a solar engineer.
  8. 8. Innovation and gender empowerment • Ajaita Shah, 30, began working in Indian villages, by launching her own company, Frontier Markets, to bring safe and affordable clean energy to the northwestern region of Rajasthan (2008) • Shah who was brought up in the US-is now in Forbes magazine's Top 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs, has raised more than $550,000 in funding, including a grant from the National Geographic Society's Great Energy Challenge.
  9. 9. "I like being a Saral Jeevan Sakhi because I get to save my village from kerosene fires and fear of darkness. I am learning about solar and its benefits, I am making money, and now, I am respected by my family members." Meena Kumari, Chomu Block, Saral Jeevan Sakhi
  10. 10. Sustainable Entrepreneurship Energy access provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs to make an income and enhance their social status by creating and disseminating sustainable energy solutions. Barriers, such as lack of training and education, and social norms that view modern energy technology businesses as “men’s work”, limit women’s opportunities to engage in sustainable energy entrepreneurship. Tasks ahead include enhancing women’s leadership and participation in the energy sector, developing targeted training programmes for women (UN 2016)
  11. 11. Empowering the next generation • Girls are left behind without educational opportunities due to the lack of reliable light. • A number of quantitative and qualitative studies have shown that clean energy access is linked with better chances for girls to complete primary education and for women to earn better wages • it also contributes to a reduction in gender-based violence, and an ability to power mobile phones means better connectivity and better business opportunities.
  12. 12. Energy, Entrepreneurship and Disruptive Technology • The importance of advancing the opportunities for girls-health, education-and learning their aspirations • The improvement of their lives-using disruptive technologies-renewable energy and mobile phones • Changing their perceptions of themselves-and empowering them-making SMART villages