Ethical Enterprise Award Winner 2019 : Pollinate Group


By now you probably know that Pollinate Group took home the Ethical Enterprise Award winning title as well as a host of prizes, and a gorgeous Ethical Enterprise Award! We’ve excitedly shared the news and breakdown of the prizes and the generous sponsors and judges in our latest media release.

Now that the dust has settled, we have the opportunity to share about five minutes worth of insights from an ‘up close and personal’ chat with Pollinate Group. We discussed How they came to be and What drives them to continue, wrapping up with Where they see the business going in the coming year!

Collaborating with Pollinate Group looks like…

Finding solutions together is a key value at Pollinate Group and collaboration is how they get things done. Pollinate Group shared that while it’s tough to identify the best collaborative experience, in terms of the impact on women entrepreneurs and the neglected communities they serve, the merger of Empower Generation and Pollinate Energy to form Pollinate Group has been one of the biggest examples of collaboration. They also proudly work with partners like Greenlight Planet, DOEN Foundation, DFAT BPP, Worley and Australian Ethical to increase their impact. Pollinate Group believe the best collaboration experiences involve transparency, honesty and not shying away from discussing challenges, recognizing biases or skills gaps, and committing to learning from each other. Alright, so that sounds amazing, who else wishes Pollinate Group were their ‘lab partners’ of today?!

Pollinate Group feels most rewarded for their endeavours when…

Being super modest,as you’d expect, Pollinate Group shared that they feel lucky to work with inspiring women and wonderful customers. Sharing that seeing a woman in a slum community make her first sale to a neighbouring family who have never had reliable, clean light in their home, is a deeply rewarding and purposeful experience for everyone involved. They’re excited to have reached more than 600,000 people and trained more than 600 women entrepreneurs across India and Nepal and having a measured, positive impact on the communities they serve is highly rewarding. The numbers don’t lie! Results and words of affirmation may be the key to this company’s heart.

The inspiration that lead to inspired action was…

Travelling is noted for being a huge eye opener and has often been the trigger for people to connect with their soul purpose and get into action. A similar tale is true for Pollinate Group who shared some intense stats from across India and Nepal, where 256 million people still live in extreme poverty, on less than US$1.90 a day. Noting that families are trapped in intergenerational poverty cycles. Such cycles are compounded by a lack of opportunities for women who can be a driving force for change in their family and community.

“While men and women suffer from poverty, gender discrimination means women have fewer resources to cope. Women retain the full burden of household chores, spending hours every day preparing meals and using low quality household solutions for things like lighting and cooking. This denies women opportunities to earn meaningful income. They are restricted from further education and cannot commit to employment due to social norms.”

What started with a handful of solar lights to help people replace kerosene has grown into a social business that addresses the real causes and challenges presented at the nexus of poverty, women’s empowerment and energy access.

Where Pollinate Group are headed next…

Pollinate Group aims to bring more women into their network and expand the reach of their network in India and Nepal for them in the next year. They’re also continuing to prove a business model that doesn’t leave anyone behind, no matter how hard it is to reach them.

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