Light Up The Nation - SuperSaver LED Lightbulbs

Light Up The Nation - SuperSaver LED Lightbulbs: Increase energy consumption by reducing consumption and help educate children.

Gazipur, BangladeshGazipur, Bangladesh
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

I plan to take electricity to more homes and slums under the existing electricity supply by reducing the consumption of current users while maintaining their existing utility level. My LED bulbs give the same intensity consuming 40% and 10% of energy used by CFL and Incandescent bulbs respectively.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if a single light bulb could significantly help in building an underprivileged child's future?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

There is a severe shortage of electricity supply here. The government is unable to meet the high demand for electricity, and many can't afford a connection due to ever-increasing tariffs. Even those who have an electricity connection have to face frequent blackouts. As a result, many underprivileged children can't study in the evening as either they can't afford electricity or the government can't supply them with electricity.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

My LED bulbs give the same light intensity consuming 40% and 10% of energy used by CFL and Incandescent bulbs respectively. Therefore, if I can take the usage of this bulb to a mass scale, a lot of energy will be conserved and saved, which could be then be supplied to more poeple who don't have access to electricity at the moment. Furthermore, since my bulbs consume so less energy, these would also save the users a lot of money in the form of reduced electricity bills. So, a two-room family would now be able to light up both their rooms instead of previously just one and incur the same cost, and a family that couldn't afford to light up even a single room can now do so just so that at least their child can study without interruption.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The maid in my home is quite poor and lives in a small neighborhood that used to go dark as soon as the sun went down. She has a two-room house, only one of which used to stay lit after dark. That actually used to be the only room in the whole neighborhood that had a lightbulb. The children of the neighborhood used to gather there every evening to study, but as the room was very small, naturally a lot of the kids were left out. After I introduced my LED bulbs to them, my maid has a fully-lit home and half the neighborhood can afford to get a light for at least one of their rooms. As for the children, they no longer have to gather at my maid's place to study, as they can do so sitting in their own home.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

In the last two months since the start of the project, I have managed to cover up an entire neighborhood of 50 families. Each of those families can now afford to light up at least one of their rooms. Previously, only a third of the families had lights in their houses. Now every home has a light, but the energy consumption has gone up by only around 50% compared to the 300% if they used CFL bulbs and 1200% if they used Incandescant bulbs. The children in that neighborhood no longer have their studies interrupted because of darkness. The main obstacle is in making people aware of the benefits of using my bulb. However, I am marketing it via word of mouth due to fund shortage, and by the end of September I expect to be able to cover the entire area. As more profits start coming in, I can cover the entire district by the end of this year using more intensive marketing.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

I plan on expanding this idea district by district and in a decentralized manner. I cover my district; someone else sets up production in another district and so on. Every new district start the initial marketing via word of mouth. Eventually, the awareness of the benefits of my bulbs will be spreading faster and faster, so growth will be easier to achieve if production can meet the demand quick enough. The quicker I get more people to set up their own production units in every district the sooner I can cover the whole country. If that can be done, it should take 5-8 years for full coverage.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

My target market is literally everyone. I'm charging a 70% profit margin on every bulb I sell to middle to upper class customers/areas, and a 10% margin for lower-middle and below customers/areas. The profit I am making is quite sufficient to expand, market, and sustain the solution. I started with only $300, and it has already grown into a $450 business. The raw materials I use are also mostly recycled, so there won't be any supply shortage.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The CFL bulb companies in my country came up with their products. Their focus was only on saving energy. My solution addresses that much more effectively, and mine also focuses on making it accessible to the low-income groups. My LED bulbs are quite cheaper for them considered to the CFL bulbs in the market, as I charge lower for the low-income segment.
Team

Founding Story

Four months back, my Sensei and I were discussing a modification he made to his wristwatch. He added a small single LED to his watch to function as a mini torch. He told me that these LEDs consume very little energy. A few weeks later, I was reading a news report talking about the persistent electricity shortage and how it's the reason behind many houses in the country being in dark. Then it hit me! I asked myself, why not use the existing supply to cater to more demand by using products that function the same while using less electricity?? Soon after, I came up with the SuperSaver LED lightbulb after working a bit with a local electrician. I bought recycled holders and body materials, and LEDs, and went into making prototypes.

Team

I have a 3-member team including myself at the moment; somewhat of a cottage industry. 2 of them were jobless poor people who I borught in and trained, and they are the ones producing the bulbs. I handle the staff training, bringing in raw materials and equipment and packaging, as well as selling and marketing the product an its benefits.
About You
Organization:
Dept of Career and Professional Development Services (CPDS) of NSU
About You
First Name

Mahmodul

Last Name

Hassan

About Your Project
Organization Name

Dept of Career and Professional Development Services (CPDS) of NSU

How long has your organization been operating?

Project
Organization Country

, DHA, Gazipur

Country where this project is creating social impact

, DHA, Gazipur

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family.

Supplemental
Sector

Sustainable Sourcing.

Audience: Who have you identified as your customer/recipient groups and do these groups value your solution for different reasons? How do you engage different customer/recipient groups to deliver your solution?

Almost everyone suffers from the problems mentioned earlier, so my target customers are all groups of people. However, the poor people are the biggest sufferers, so my focus is more on them. So far, I have received positive and valuable feedback from everyone I shared the solution with. The neighborhood I have fully covered is itself the proof of the effectiveness and people's acceptance of my solution.
I basically go from neighborhood to neighborhood explaining the solution. Word of mouth marketing too.

Scaling the solution: How would the prize money and publicity help you to achieve your objectives over the next two years?

The prize money would allow me to expand and spread the solution exponentially. Since setting up a production unit is not that expensive and one unit can cover an entire unit if it has enough workers, I could launch multiple units in several districts in one go. It would also allow me to use some of the more costly but penetrating marketing strategies.
I need the publicity more than the money. The publicity I gain would make applying the solution on a country-wide scale much easier and knowledge about the solution would then spread like wildfire, and even if someone doesn't understand the solution would still be interested to try it out just to see what all the noise is about.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered

This is my first entrepreneurial initiative.

Are you are eligible to attend the Accelerator event in Cambridge and subsequent events in London, UK in January, 2015?

yes

Will you require a visa to enter the UK?

yes

Are you are a current Unilever employee?

randomness