Barefoot Power wins big at the Cool Company Awards
Australia’s leading entrepreneurs and business rock stars met at 24 Moons Bar on AC/DC Lane in Melbourne last week for Anthill Magazine’s 2010 Cool Company Awards.
The Cool Company Awards is an initiative launched to celebrate Australian organizations making real change through innovative means – rule-makers, rule-breakers, and trend-setters in attitude and action.
Changemakers’ own Barefoot Power -- an organization that has really begun to hit its stride -- was honored as a company bringing about positive change in both Australia and beyond, by defying convention and demonstrating the ability to tackle social issues while maintaining revenue growth. Barefoot Power edged out a pool of over 700 nominees to take home awards in two categories: The Social Capitalist Award and the Coolest Company Award.
“We think there is nothing cooler than being able to empower poor communities to improve themselves through something as simple as lighting and access to business advice and funding,” Barefoot Power wrote in its Cool Company application. “More than 600,000 people now have lighting, displacing kerosene use, reducing burns and respiratory illness, and saving 30,000 tonnes of carbon.”
Barefoot Power is an innovative trade finance fund that designs and manufactures technology products, such as solar lighting kits, with the potential to reduce poverty in developing countries. It gives a grassroots network of entrepreneurs access to quality products, and capacity building assistance on all levels of the supply chain to scale-up businesses and strengthen local communities.
“Being the Coolest Company for 2010 shows a social enterprise like Barefoot Power can compete with mainstream companies, who are vying for the same funding opportunities. Awards like Anthill’s really levels the playing field for us,” said founder Stewart Craine. “This has been a great year for such recognition at a national and international level for our enterprise, which is just about to reach its initial target of providing lighting to one million people.”
It really has been a busy year for Barefoot Power! In addition to winning awards at the 2010 Consensus GreenTech Awards, the CTI PFAN Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing, and the World Bank’s Lighting Africa Program, Barefoot Power was selected as one of the 14 best worldwide models of catalyzing finance for small and medium enterprises in the G-20 SME Finance Challenge -- and entitled to a part of the $528 million the G-20 has invested to support the "missing middle."
“We’re not just teaching these people how to fish; we’re showing them how to build the fishing co-operative! On top of all that, we’re helping the environment.”
Congratulations Barefoot Power!