There are more than 200 million people in India without access to power. And while the government is working on connecting them to the grid, it also wants to ensure that the energy comes from renewable sources.
A company in one of the country’s western states is helping to achieve both of those goals by selling solar-powered products to hundreds of villages. Called Frontier Markets, the company employs women to sell lamps, stoves, and even TVs that run on solar power through a program called Solar Sahelis (Solar Friends). Each woman is in charge of selling products to hundreds of rural households. By employing women, this solves another problem in India as only 22 percent of the workforce is currently made up of women.
As of now, the program seems to be working. According to the founder of Frontier Markets, 3,000 women have helped to provide energy to more than half a million village houses in Rajasthan. That’s a fantastic achievement, of course, but Frontier Markets is not stopping there. The company is set on providing energy to millions of rural Indians in the near future while continuing to employee women.