Illumination Solar: Delivering Energy Poverty Solutions (Simplified Chinese Version)
(6 pages of text)
In October 2017, the co-founder of Australian social enterprise Illumination Solar was rethinking his company’s Give Power campaign. After five marginally profitable years designing and supplying portable solar lanterns to some of the world’s most energy impoverished communities, including refugee camps, the co-founder had decided to market his products to Australian customers for outdoor uses such as camping and hiking. Under the Give Power campaign, Illumination Solar donated one solar lantern to a community in need for every solar product purchased by Australian customers. However, this strategy was not successful. The co-founder’s main goal for his company was to sustainably provide good quality solar lanterns to impoverished people in developing countries. To reach that goal, he wondered which strategy to follow; should he return to the original business model, re-structure the Give Power campaign, or come up with something entirely new to generate higher profits?
The case is intended for an introductory level course on social enterprise. The aim of this case is to introduce students to models of social enterprise and help them to understand the dilemma of managing social enterprises in emerging markets. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- explain the challenges of balancing the social and financial aims of social enterprise;
- identify, explain, and choose between different models of social enterprise; and
- explain the challenges faced by social enterprises in emerging markets.
Social Advocacy Organizations
Australia, Small, 2017
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