In June, Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, partnered with Grameen Shakti, a social business dedicated to providing access to energy, to create a social business joint venture called Grameen Schneider Electric. As a social business, the joint venture will fully reuse profits made by selling access to energy solutions to develop and expand the Grameen Schneider Electric offer throughout Bangladesh.
In Bangladesh, there are currently some 1.3 billion people who are still lacking access to energy and Grameen Schneider Electric aims at equipping nearly 200,000 of them with home solar systems by 2013. Schneider Electric has already implemented the solar systems in Nigeria, Senegal, India and Madagascar. In a next step, the venture partners’ teams will collaborate to create innovative and adapted solutions for water pumping or renewable off-grid power generation.
The whole initiative is supported by the Schneider Electric Energy Access Fund. It aims to support the development of entrepreneurial initiatives around access to energy and support the poorest at the Bottom of the Pyramid. It is funded by Schneider Electric, its employees and institutional investors such as the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) and PhiTrust Active Investors.