450 million rural villagers in India do not have access to a stable energy supply. Villagers are demanding more than the occasional lighting. They want reliable power, appliances and quick service. With current income levels varying between one to five dollars a day the need for a stable electricity supply to create income generating opportunities is clear. Reliable solutions have only extended to 7% of the last mile consumers. Frontier Markets has taken up this challenge with a focus on helping women who are disproportionally disadvantaged by the lack of reliable and clean energy.
Frontier Markets (FM) has built a network of digitized rural women entrepreneurs that uses a customer-centric approach to drive clean energy access to agri-families in India. Using fintech, digital literacy, solar lighting and appliances FM empowers women. To date, FM has 5,000 micro-entrepreneurs (50% women) who are trained and have access to technology, marketing, and technical repair, and provide innovative solar solutions to sell to rural households.
This month, FM joins the Shine Campaign’s Steering Committee.
“We are extremely excited and honored to be a part of the steering committee as it increases our opportunity to share our experiences on the ground level and represent millions of rural households’ stories about the need for clean energy solutions. We believe that our entrepreneurial perspective will allow for diverse ideations on how to unite large communities to align for boosting climate impact,” said Ajaita Shah, founder and CEO of FM.
FM has a deep market penetration in Rajasthan with 30% market share, higher than most corporate rural companies. FM has sold over 563,000 products to date that have reached across 29 districts & 500,000 households impacting 3.1 M lives. FM has now started penetrating in new states like U.P., Odisha & North East and plans to enter Bihar & Jharkhand in this financial year. FM’s interventions have resulted in 10,000 households reducing 80% of wood burning fuels and has replaced 255,750 kerosene lanterns with clean energy solutions to date. This has resulted into savings of 750,000 carbon tons.