Yerina Mugica, under the direction of Professor Ted London, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Approximately 25 million people in Brazil do not have access to electricity. Fabio Rosa, a local social entrepreneur, is working to fill this need through innovative distributed solar energy business ventures. Rosa founded both a for-profit corporation, Agroelectric System of Appropriate Technology (STA) and a not-for-profit organization, the Institute for Development of Natural Energy and Sustainability (IDEAAS). Through IDEAAS, Rosa developed a business plan for an innovative venture, dubbed “The Sun Shines for All” (TTSFA), which would lease a basic photovoltaic solar home system to rural Brazilians for US$10/month plus an initial installation fee – little more than what people were already spending on non-renewable forms of energy. Additionally, Rosa established a separate initiative, called Quiron, to address the unique needs of those who cannot afford to pay the TSSFA prices. Instead of subsidizing the purchase of solar energy services for those who cannot afford its cost, Rosa would leverage his solar energy services to provide income-generating opportunities to those that needed it. The Quiron project is an integrated project for sustainable rural development, income generation, employment of renewables for domestic and productive use, biodiversity management, forestation and carbon credits. This case presents the business details of the nascent TTSFA and Quiron ventures, including a triple-bottom-line summary of early results (economic, environmental, and social impacts). The case also presents the risks and hurdles inherent in these projects, as well as implications for their potential scalability to other countries/regions. Through this case, students may gain insight into both the challenges and significant opportunities in addressing the needs of low-income consumers in emerging markets.
Social entrepreneurship, Fabio Rosa, solar energy, Brazil, entrepreneur, sustainable development, rural development, microenterprise, international development, electric industry, triple bottom line
©2004 Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
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