CELEBRATING THE SPIRIT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
As the world unites together for the Global Entrepreneurship Week (#GEW2018), we at Orora Global want to take a moment to recognize and celebrate some of our own unsung sheroes, who personify the spirit of an entrepreneur who dares to dream, questions the status quo and yet is accountable for all her responsibilities. We dedicate this blog post to 25 women in Orora Global’s first rural Solar Production Unit in Trichy, India.
A platform to grow.
When we started out, we were clear about two of our impact goals:
make clean energy accessible and affordable for rural & suburban communities
empower the local women with necessary skills to make them community leaders and change makers.
As we started engaging with these communities, it was blatantly apparent that the rural women were eager to learn and contribute. However they had their social constraints. When we had to decide on our Solar Production Unit, we chose to model it in such way that it catered to a rural woman, giving her a platform to grow.
Building the entrepreneurial spirit.
As we began our recruitment for the Solar Production Unit, we consciously prioritized single moms, women from families that did not have steady income, women who could not finish their schooling including those with special needs and brought together 25 women from villages around Trichy.
Our working hours gave them the flexibility to manage their household responsibilities so that they had one less thing to worry about while coming to work.
The solar training was designed in such a way that no prior background was required. We covered everything from basic physics to practical electronics to solar product manufacturing. For the first time the women saw their own true potential.
”Before the training, I assumed anything related to electricity is complex. If some device did not work, I would helplessly wait for the only electrician in the village to come and fix. Now I question: how hard can it be? Recently I opened up the voltage stabilizer in my house and fixed it!” - Kokila, who had to quit school after the 8th grade
The families and community around are starting to see the difference. When Vennila, who has hardly gone beyond her village, Manapalayam, fixed the wiring of a broken light at her home, her mother-in-law was brimming with pride. Such shifts in perception of true potential of rural women sets up an entire community in a growth path.
To further groom these grass root change makers, we trained the women on public speaking, spoken English, yoga and meditation.
Our first rural Solar Production Unit with 25 trained women is ready to roll. Our women have proactively enrolled their communities and have designed solar-powered community centers that will offer computer classes for rural children supporting 60 villages or 150,000 people in and around Trichy. They are committed to paying forward to help other women learn how to implement solar solutions, spreading the joy that they experienced.
Three cheers to these less-known, spirited entrepreneurs of the world.
‘BE THE WINDS OF CHANGE’
Our Trichy production center is now a tiny powerhouse for Orora in India, with our 25 wonderful solar engineers/ local entrepreneurs ready to produce and install solar products in unelectrified communities.
Orora Global is launching a fundraiser, Be The Winds of Change, to impact 250K people without electricity in Trichy and in other remote parts of the world. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more.