Apple teamed with Acumen in July of this year to support social enterprises in India through clean energy initiatives. The latter has now shortlisted 15 entrepreneurs from a variety of industries, including agriculture, e-mobility, and hydropower, among others, for the Energy for Livelihoods Acceleration in India, in which Acumen experts will lead a 12-week program to help social entrepreneurs scale and refine their businesses in order to transform the lives of people living in poverty while also protecting the environment. This could help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of eradicating poverty, providing affordable and clean energy, and combating climate change.
Nimisha Tiwari of LinkITBlueCollar and Harsh Tiwari of EMPBindi International are among the 15 entrepreneurs chosen for the cohort. Runjesh Bargal of Vanya Environmental Services, Riddhish Soni of Aumsat Technologies, Neelkanth Mishra of Jaljeevika infotech pvt ltd, Dhananjay Abhang of Kisangas, Srinivas Marella of Coolcrop, Rishabh Rawat of Arth, and Ashwini Vikas of Suryanirbhar Agritech LLP are among those named. Nikky Kumar Jha of Saptkrishi Scientific Private Limited, Upamanyu Ghosh of BluPower, Tushar Devidayal of Devidayal Solar Solutions, Zunzar Patil of Eidikos Business Enterprises Pvt Ltd, Jai Bharathi Addepalli of Mowo Fleet, and Dharmik Bapodara of Yotuh Energy were also on the list.
Participants in the twelve-week program will create and enhance a scalable business model with the potential to improve the lives of low-income people while saving resources and safeguarding the environment. To support the development of their business models and impact, the cohort will participate in a mix of virtual Learning Labs, seminars, and self-directed consumer experiments. They will be invited to pitch to a curated audience of sustainable energy ecosystem stakeholders during a Demo-Day at the end of the program.
They will join The Foundry, Acumen Academy’s global community of over 1300 social innovators who have collectively impacted more than 8 million lives around the world, upon completion of the program, to share in a lifelong journey of solving poverty problems and building a world based on dignity. Participants in the Accelerator will be considered for additional technical assistance and investment from Acumen’s Pioneer Energy Investment Initiative – Powering Livelihoods Using Solar (PEII+). This $25 million project invests in early-stage productive energy enterprises in India, East Africa, and West Africa over a five-year period.
Apart from collaborating with Acumen, Apple has also collaborated with Frank Water to provide access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene; and with the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) to conserve mangroves along India’s west coast.