The Invent for Humanity will also provide 10 Solar Sister entrepreneurs with a “business-in-a-bag” — including inventory, training and marketing support to help them to take the benefits of clean energy technology to their own un-electrified communities.
The idea is to leverage women’s natural social networks to deploy clean, affordable energy solutions, while stimulating economic development in poor communities. Solar Sister Founder Katherine Lucey summed it up nicely in an interview last year with Care2.com: “Clean energy technology has been developed that is affordable, appropriate and available,” Lucey said. “But it is not easily accessible to the people who need it most, the women and children in rural communities. Through access to technology, Solar Sister creates critical, lasting change in the lives of women and girls living with the devastating effects of energy poverty. Solar Sister works because it addresses a real need, the need for light and energy in communities without access to electricity. We do this by tapping into one of the most powerful, but overlooked, networks in the world, womens’ natural social networks of family, friends and neighbors.”
Invent for Humanity leverages the experience of professionals in intellectual property and licensing, such as the Center for Applied Innovation, to support appropriate and sustainable technologies that benefit people living in developing countries. This year’s other featured campaigns include low-cost hearing aids for children in Vietnam, energy-efficient biomass stoves for women in India and an innovative lever-driven wheelchair designed for rough terrain and constructed from bicycle components. An entire list of Invent for Humanity campaigns can be found here.