Social Entrepreneur of 2016
We are delighted that our partner Envirofit
was named “Social Entrepreneurs of the Year” by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship this April.
The award recognises and celebrates the work of Ron Bills, Chairman and CEO of Envirofit to make affordable, efficient and durable clean cookstoves accessible to low-income consumers.
“This year’s awardees are experimenting with business models and new distribution and replication methods, and holding themselves accountable for results,” said Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairwoman of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. “They are changing society for the better in the process.”
With the 2016 award, Envirofit joins the Schwab Foundation’s prestigious community of social entrepreneurs, which includes 260 people from 60 countries, and will benefit from pro-bono consulting and links to world-class institutions such as Harvard Business School, Stanford University and INSEAD.
Envirofit will also be invited to join regional meetings of the World Economic Forum, where as part of the plenary session, they will be highlighted as leading social entrepreneur to heads of state and corporate leaders.
“In the past, people living in energy poverty didn’t have a voice and were regarded as beneficiaries in need of aid,” said Bills. “This award recognises the shift to a consumer driven market where the voice of the customer drives the development of market based solutions to energy needs at a local level. I am honoured to receive this award and to be working with such a dedicated team of passionate Envirofit employees, distributors and customers across the globe.”
The 2016 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year caps a series of recent acknowledgements for Envirofit’s leadership in social enterprise. In January, Envirofit received a $4 million financing commitment
from Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution. Also in October 2015, they became the first high-quality clean cookstoves company to sell one million stoves
and are now aiming to improve 100 million lives by 2020.