Portfolio Learning

Unlocking Sustainable Livelihood Opportunities for Rural Women

The POWERED programme launched by SF, the UK Government and DST Government of India in 2017 supports social enterprises in India to expand their businesses and in so doing, increases the economic empowerment of women-owned businesses in the Indian energy space.

Under the POWERED umbrella, SF partners CEEW and Villgro have established Powering Livelihoods, a $3m initiative designed to mainstream clean energy-based solutions in India’s rural economy, providing capital, technical and sectoral growth support to help social enterprises deploy clean energy-based livelihood solutions in a gender-inclusive manner.

In rural India, women are significant contributors to the rural economy and mostly work in agriculture. One of the biggest challenges Agri and associated industries face is the lack of reliable electricity. Approximately 119 million farmers and 34 million microentrepreneurs in the Indian rural economy are constrained by unreliable electricity. Decentralised renewable energy (DRE) powered livelihood solutions have the potential to solve this while simultaneously reducing the hard work and time spent on labour-intensive activities.

This study produced by CEEW and Villgro, explores learnings, evidence, and recommendations on creating sustainable livelihood opportunities for rural women, emanating from gender-forward initiatives deployed by the Powering Livelihoods programme, to mainstream women in Distributed renewable energy (DRE)-powered livelihoods.

Read the study.