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Katerina Kimmorley and Pollinate Group: eradicating energy poverty by empowering women through solar energy

Hadiya Faheem (Case Research Center, ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad, India)
Sanjib Dutta (Case Research Center, ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad, India)

Publication date: 18 May 2022


Study level/applicability

MBA/MS level programs.

Subject area

Social entrepreneurship, sustainability and business strategy.

Case overview

The case discusses about how social entrepreneur Katerina Kimmorley founded Pollinate Energy with five of her friends to provide solar lights to the urban slum dwellers in Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka, a state in the Southern part of India. The company recruited people known as “Pollinators” for distributing their solar lights to the communities on installments making it affordable to them. To scale-up its sustainable energy initiatives and expand its global reach, Pollinate Energy merged with the US-based solar energy company Empower Generation in 2018 to form Pollinate Group. Since the company was making losses and was a nonprofit organization, the new CEO of Pollinate Group Sujatha Ramani and the senior management team had to tackle the challenge of scaling up the company while financially empowering women microentrepreneurs from marginalized communities.

Expected learning outcomes

Study Pollinate Energy’s business model and explore ways in which it can be made sustainable. Discuss the personality traits of Kimmorley which contributed to her success. Discuss how the merger with Empower Generation will help Pollinate Group in expanding its global reach. Explore ways in which the venture can be scaled up further.

Social implications

Pollinate Group focused on women empowerment to tackle the gender inequality challenge. The company provided equal opportunities for men and women, thereby removing discrimination from access to opportunities, sources, services and promotion of equal rights.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship



Disclaimer. This case is intended to be used as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. The case was compiled from published sources.


Faheem, H. and Dutta, S. (2022), "Katerina Kimmorley and Pollinate Group: eradicating energy poverty by empowering women through solar energy", .



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