Project summary

UNSW students travel to India to help empower female entrepreneurs to promote affordable renewable energy products to their communities and tackle ‘energy poverty'.

Project outcomes

Pollinate Energy was co-founded by two UNSW alumni Monique Alfris and Kat Kimmorley back in 2012. It is a social enterprise that works to combat the effects of ‘energy poverty’ in India’s slum communities and empower female entrepreneurs.

As fellows of Pollinate Energy, our UNSW engineering students travelled to India to empower local female entrepreneurs to promote and sell solar lights and smoke-free cooktops that would replace kerosene lamps in the local communities. The current kerosene products that existed produced harmful fumes, which were estimated to kill more than 1.5 million people per year.

The students worked with local volunteers for 3-4 weeks to gain a practical understanding of the entrepreneurial approach to community development.  Working alongside Pollinate Energy, they were able to contribute to creating a world where women are equipped to lead their communities out of poverty.


Communities across India

Population of 1.35 billion

20 hour journey from UNSW, Sydney

View on Google Maps.

Project timeline

2014 - present

United Nations Development Goals

SDG 5: Gender Equality
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Make an impact

Learn more on how you can apply for the Pollinate Energy Student Fellowship Program