Resource of the Week: Ayllu and CSTS Energy Map


In celebration of Earth Day 2012, this Resource of the Week highlights an energy enterprise directory dedicated to “illuminating” the work being done by social entrepreneurs around the world to address the fact that nearly 1/3 of its inhabitants live without electricity. This resource was developed by the Ayllu (pronounced I-you) Initiative with support from Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society. Ayllu aggregates data related to market-based solutions to poverty, and has amassed one of the largest data bases of Base of the Pyramid social enterprises. Check out the other sector mapping projects they’ve done here.

The Energy Map profiles over 50 social enterprise working around the globe to provide affordable energy to the nearly 1.5 billion people who don’t currently have access to it. In building out the Energy Map, Ayllu and CSTS conducted an in-depth study of global projects related to energy delivery for customers underserved by traditional markets, surveying the technologies and business models being used to help power and empower the bottom billions.

Ayllu & CSTS Energy Map


The Energy Map looks at the types of technologies being employed by social enterprises working in the micro-energy space, including off-grid technologies, rechargeables, solar home systems, and community level power solutions. They asked participating social enterprises to share information about their product sourcing, design, and distribution strategies, and thought about issues around affordability, financing, scaling, and impact assessment. Finally, the Energy Map provides a visual directory of the participating enterprises. Just click on any of the 50+ enterprise pins on the map to find out more about each project–who they are, what they do, where they work, how they deliver their services, and how to contact them for more information. They even provide information about the revenue streams and major funders of each profiled project.

By sharing information and lessons from existing enterprises working to power the world, the Energy Map hopes to propel the growth of these enterprises, and the launch of new ones, to eventually ensure that everyone has access to affordable electricity. If you are affiliated with a social enterprise or group of social enterprises focused on microenergy for the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ and are interested in adding your initiative to the Energy Map, please be in touch with them!

Lindsay Miller

Lindsay leads, a free open content resource hub that helps social entrepreneurs plan, start, manage, and grow successful social enterprises. She has worked as a consultant to social enterprises and nonprofits in the US and abroad, served as the Programming Lead for the Skoll World Forum, and studied as a Skoll Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford's Said Business School. She lives in Hood River, Oregon.

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