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Social Entrepreneur

328 EpisodesProduced by Tony LoydWebsite

Social Entrepreneur exists at the intersection of profit and purpose. We tell positive stories from underrepresented voices, focused on solutions.


127, Clementine Chambon, Amit Saraogi, Oorja | Rural Electrification of India Using Waste

Oorja's biomass and solar-powered micro-grids provide affordable and reliable electricity to off-grid communities in rural India.

In India, 450 million people lack access to reliable energy. This has several repercussions including a lack of economic development, poor health outcomes, gender inequity, poor education and more. Without reliable electricity, villagers rely on fossil-fuels such as kerosene and diesel. They spend up to 20% of household income on these dirty sources of power.

At the same time, people in rural India produce 200 million tons of crop waste per year. This waste is usually burned in the field, producing greenhouse gasses.

Clementine Chambon and Amit Saraogi met in a Climate-KIC workshop in 2015. They developed the business model for Oorja during that workshop. Since then they have worked with and interviewed hundreds of people, fully developing their business idea.

Oorja builds and maintains decentralized hybrid solar and biomass-powered micro-grids, producing reliable clean energy across the Indian countryside.

Oorja is the project developer and they use a community-ownership model. This provides livelihood opportunities and economic stimulation.

Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Clementine Chambon and Amit Saraogi

“We’re aiming to provide reliable and affordable power to places that currently don’t have access to electricity.” Clementine Chambon

“We’re aiming to compete with diesel.” Clementine Chambon

“I’ve always had interest in climate change and clean energy solutions.” Clementine Chambon

“We identified that waste energy and rural electrification were our common points of interest.” Clementine Chambon

“The benefits of this growth and globalization were not really trickling down.” Amit Saraogi

“I was a banker, but I knew this was not the right path for me.” Amit Saraogi

“I believe good policy that is well-implemented is the need of the hour.” Amit Saraogi

“I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time.” Amit Saraogi

Social Entrepreneurship Resources:

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