Discussion about entry: Nuru Energy to Empower - India: Rural Energy Entrepreneurship in India and East Africa


Lisa Heydlauff profile img
Fri, 07/08/2011 - 00:52

Interesting project, and working in both Africa and India must be fascinating – are there any striking differences between doing business in one, as against the other? I would also be interested to know whether and how quickly the entrepreneurs you found were able to make their business profitable? Also you mention ‘monitoring & evaluation’ and I wondered how this was structured – do you have specific parameters that you monitor, or do you just record feedback from the entrepreneur and local community? Hope it goes well.

Wed, 07/20/2011 - 14:18

Thanks Lisa! I work with the enterprise in India and have not worked with Nuru or for that matter at all, in Africa so cannot speak about the difference between the two apart from what I have learned from my colleagues. Our entrepreneurs make a profit on their business from day one. This is because they pay for the POWERCycle through upfront energy credit payments that are deducted as a percentage of the recharge fees they charge customers (typically we take 20 to 35%). Think of this as top-up credit for your mobile phone - except now provided in the form of top-up energy credit that allows the POWERCycle to run.
This allows us to give the POWERCycle to our entrepreneurs at no upfront cost. Further, entrepreneurs strike a profit on every light they sell which they take as part of a microfinance loan of typically 20-50 lights which is paid back in 2-6 months with the interest payments eating a very small proportion of the profit margin the entrepreneur makes on the sale of every Nuru Light.
On the M&E side we typically monitor 3 key parameters:
1. CO2 displaced - We measure this in general aggregate terms and also do random sample monitoring to measure exactly how much of a reduction in kerosene consumption households that own the Nuru Light are actually experiencing.
2. Entrepreneur Incomes
3. Household Savings

We are currently looking into ways to use the Progress out of Poverty Index developed by Grameen Foundation to measure how income generated from our microfranchise impacts asset accumulation in our Entrepreneur' households.

Everlyne Cherobon profile img
Thu, 07/21/2011 - 02:29

Congratulations Sloan on this excellent work. It is a much needed innovation on the face of rising costs of kerosene and the need for alternative energy sources.
I would like to introduce to you EMEDEN Kenya, a local farmers organization, as a likely partner to Nuru in Kenya. We work with farmers and have established a network of Farmers Resource Centres in the rural areas. Please get in touch for more details about us. Best regards and I pray you win

Sun, 07/31/2011 - 11:51

Very interesting to read about it and the amount of empowerment it brings about to undersevered societies in the world. All the very best!!!

Tue, 08/02/2011 - 06:37

It's inspiring to see a project that truly takes to heart the unique landscape and needs of communities it works with. I can't say enough about the brilliance behind incorporating technology, social research, and activism (not to mention great design ;) to make a difference in a world where it seems more difficult than ever. This project truly embodies global citizenship and tinkering. Best of luck!

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 11:45

Thanks so much jenny! Your support means a lot to us and we appreciate your help in getting the word out about our work.

Joseph Joute profile img
Tue, 08/02/2011 - 08:04

Hi Sloan. We can partner with you for new markets in north east India. Regards: Joseph Joute

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 11:46

Hi Jospeh,

This is Gaurav and I am the director of partnerships for the enterprise in India. I would love to learn more about the work you do and the organization you represent. Do drop me an email at gmalik@nurulight.com

Thanks so much for your support!

Tue, 08/02/2011 - 23:42

Kudos, Guarav and all those involved with this project!!All the best!

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 11:48

Thanks a lot George. Your support means a lot to us.



Joseph Joute profile img
Thu, 08/04/2011 - 10:21

Hi Gaurav, nice to know you. We are a youth-led organisation in Manipur south dist (non-profit community based) and one Tribal Enterprise (for profit) our people need this kind of solar light at low price,chargable without electricity b'coz our current is bad. We can help u ad the products and market it to inner hill rural areas and here in Churachandpur. Our organisation is also at its initial stages in this kind of works though we have been regd in 1996 and won the national youth club award. We hope to create some impacts as well as strengthen our organisation. Nurul energy is good for rural light. If u can sent me your terms and condition to josephjoute@gmail.com. I shall try to mail you in more details thru ur mail shortly. And hoping you win this competition. Kind regards: Joseph Joute

Harsha Mukherjee profile img
Sat, 08/06/2011 - 04:31

Hey Joseph,

All the Best!


Sun, 08/07/2011 - 23:22

Hands-down, this is the most inspiring project I've seen in a long time. It reminds me of how a simple piece of paper, when crushed into a ball, and combined with others, can do so much more.
Way to go, and hope y'all win!

Tue, 08/09/2011 - 04:35

Nuru has a potential of positively impacting job creation in the villages where they have operations.
I am very confident that Nuru Energy will be able to create real impact with BOP customers in solving their energy needs.

Tue, 08/09/2011 - 08:57

I want to personally thank each of you for your wonderful comments...it is inspiring to us to have your support!


Sameer Hajee
Nuru Energy

J. Eduardo Rojas profile img
Wed, 09/14/2011 - 16:43

Que buen proyecto! Sería una maravilla analizar las perspectivas de réplica en nuestro continente. Saludos!