Ashoka and the Canopus Foundation are running a competition to find the best social enterprises bringing solar (photovoltaic) power to low income off-grid communities such as sub-saharan Africa, rural India or remote areas of Latin America.

They are looking for social enterprises that have the best adapted solar power unit suitable for low income households, together with an effective plan for distribution and making them affordable to those on less than $4 a day income.

This could be anything from a simple 2.5W solar charger capable of powering a lamp and re-charging a mobile phone, to larger modular units that could support the needs of several households. More
important than the power capability is the social impact of the product in its target market, as well as the quality of distribution and the affordability of the product.

Entry deadline

Entries, which need be no more than about 10 sides with a product manual and business plan, are due by April 30th. Winner will be announced on July 13th and the prize is an investment of $250k from the Deutsche Bank Foundation to help make that plan a reality (or to grow an already up-and-running solar venture). The winning entry and promising runners up will also be candidates for additional investment from the Solar Fund that we are setting up.

Read the guidelines for entries here

Read more about 'Solar for All' here

More details can be found at:


Grünwälder Straße 10 - 14
79098 Freiburg Germany
Tel +49-761-20 20 172
Fax +49-761-20 20 197