Help me raise funds for Pollinate Energy, a social business bringing light to India!


The project

NEW OBJECTIVE: 200% (10.000 EUR)


Thanks so much for your support, contribution and kind words! Thanks to your overwhelming enthusiasm for the project, the initial objective has now been reached and I am now officially able to participate in lighting up the lifes of many of India's poor.


But it's too soon to stop supporting! Given the enthusiasm around the campaign I have decided to set a new objective to reach 10.000€. Together we can make a real difference! 


For the extra 5.000€ the allocation will be the same as previously described, i.e. 3.500€ (or 70% should I not reach the new objective) will go directly to Pollinate Energy, and will help us set up a new city even faster. The remaining €1.500 (or 30% should I not reach the new objective) will go indirectly to Pollinate Energy, covering the costs of running this campaign, other parts of my living expenses on the ground and the costs of vaccination before leaving. As a reminder, the total set up budget for each new city is c. 35.000€.   


Thanks again, we count on you!  




My Campaign Goal is to raise funds for Pollinate Energy. Their mission is to improve the lives of India’s urban poor by giving them access to sustainable life-changing products.





I’ve decided to spend 12 months volunteering in India for a Not-For-Profit Social Business – Pollinate Energy – that brings solar powered lights and other life changing products to India’s urban poor communities that have no access to electricity and clean water.


My assignment is to help Pollinate Energy expand and scale up their operations to another major city in India. Starting with the building of a Business Plan to determine which city is best suited for Pollinate Energy's business model, I will then be responsible for starting up the business in a new city with another city co-founder. There I will do everything from finding and setting up headquarters to recruiting, managing and training Pollinators, organizing the volunteering programs, developing partnerships with local organizations, managing operations, finance and HR, and building the customer base.


This is an incredible opportunity to take my experience and use it to contribute to a small yet fast growing social enterprise, also backed by United-Nations, pursuing a social and environmental mission. In my various positions at ING I have perfected my commercial skills and I gained strong insights into the management of a business unit in a highly professional environment. As a coach for the Ashoka Impact Program I helped small social entrepreneurs start or develop their business in Belgium. I will use these skills and experience to help Pollinate Energy expand their operations to another city.





Millions of Indians live without electricity, many of them in urban slums. The polluting and toxic fumes from the kerosene lamps many families depend on are the second cause of mortality of children and women in India. In addition, buying the costly fuel to power the lamps eats up a significant percentage of their humble incomes.


Kerosene lamps produce a very weak source of light; the children cannot do their homework after the sun sets and parents are limited to the most basic tasks which lowers their productivity and possibilities of generating income.


Better health, lower costs and increased productivity all help create much improved living conditions which constitutes a critical stepping-stone for people to get out of energy poverty.





- More than 33,200 people living in Bangalore’s slum communities have been provided with solar systems.

- Transitioning from kerosene to solar lamps, has saved more than 400,000 litres of kerosene and 960,000 kilograms of carbon emissions to date.


Here's a link to Pollinate Energy's Impact Assessment report to find out more.


Why fund it?



Before I leave for India on March 24th, 2015, I’ve set myself the objective of fundraising €5,000. These funds will go to Pollinate Energy’s Programs to reach out to new communities and equip them with these sustainable and life changing products as well as to cover basic living expenses on the ground and flights. The fundraising target needed for each city is equivalent to €35,000, of which I will be contributing €3,500 thanks to you. This will directly help us set up operations in another city in India, which will be financially self-sustainable after 12-13 months, thanks to the revenue from the sale of products. The remaining €1,500 will cover my flights, part of my living expenses on the ground and costs of running this campaign.






Your donations will also contribute to on the ground research in the communities to better understand their needs and therefore help define the most suited distribution strategy and develop new products to help improve the lives and health of India’s urban poor. Pollinate Energy is currently operating in Bangalore and Hyderabad, however with 390 million people in India without access to electricity there is an urgent need to reach out to other major Indian cities which have a high concentration of Urban poor communities.





By the end of 2015, Pollinate Energy plans to operate in three or four Indian cities, providing sustainable, clean energy to more than 100,000 people living in urban poverty.


With access to adequate resources, Pollinate Energy has the potential to operate across 50 major Indian cities, servicing a total of around 35,000 communities. Pollinate Energy’s model could also be replicated outside of India, both in urban and rural areas and in refugee and emergency rehabilitation facilities.


Thank you very much for taking the time to read.


Please support the cause, Donate. Or at least share my campaign on your favorite social network :-)






Hi, I'm Boris Couteaux. I'm now 27 years old. After graduating in 2010 I started working at ING in several positions in Commercial Banking, and this December the opportunity presented itself to combine two of my dreams: work with a social business in a developing country.

Newest comments

Superbe projet! Bon voyage! Hâte d'en suivre le récit!
Super initiative La famille Follebouckt te soutient et te souhaite bon courage !
Quel beau projet! Félicitations!