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- About Us
Designed to foster tomorrow’s leaders, the Fellowship brings together young people from all backgrounds who have a passion for improving lives through social business models and environmentally sustainable solutions.
You will spend 3-4 weeks on the ground in our local office with a team of aspiring young changemakers who are keen to pursue a career that truly makes a difference. You will learn about the lives of families living in India’s city slums, you will help us grow by training and supporting a local entrepreneur (our Pollinators), and you will develop new ways to improve our business as you work alongside our local team on a problem that interests and challenges you.
During your time in India you will create a lasting impact – both for yourself as you prepare to make the transition into your next opportunity, and for the communities that we serve. Watch this short video to find out more.
This program will give you a chance to test your knowledge and explore what motivates you all while having a lasting impact. Expect the unexpected and make friends who will support and champion you on the next steps of your journey. It’s time to take your future into your own hands.
You will travel to one of our city headquarters in India, where you will stay for 3 weeks with the rest of your fellowship team (an awesome group of changemakers in their own right!). Every day, you and the rest of your team collaborate on projects and fieldwork to play your own part in helping Pollinate Energy grow.Scout program
Pollinate has big plans to grow and reach more and more families By joining a SCOUT program you are helping us find new regions across India that need our support. On the SCOUT program you work with our team to assess local access to electricity and products, and ultimately make a decision – should Pollinate move into this city?
You will travel to one of our existing cities, Kolkata, for induction and to get to know how our business works, including a day out with one of our star Pollinators. You will then travel by overnight train to Bhubaneswar to interview families living in slum communities there for five days. Following this is a flight to Varanasi for two days, then onwards on the overnight train to Lucknow where you will spend the final 12 days scouting the Lucknow region.
Each morning you work in small project teams. The projects are determined closer to the program dates to match your skills and our needs, but some typical projects include:
The afternoons are spent out in the field with a small team of fellows and your local Pollinator or local Fellow. Together, you will find new communities, meet potential customers, learn how to use and sell the products. The end goal is to ensure that the local Pollinator can run their own successful micro-business well into the future, and for scouting programs to ensure that we have an accurate picture of who needs our support in that city so that we can move in.
In addition, you will participate in a few personal and professional development sessions led by your hosts – our City Cofounders and Executive team. This is your opportunity to ask understand what truly motivates you and find your path forward.
We don’t discriminate on your area of study, but rather look for people who are driven by a sense of purpose and desire to make the world a better place. The program is competitive and better suited to students in their final 1-2 years of University, but that’s more of a guideline than a rule. In your application, it’s important to focus on something you feel you have gone out of your way to achieve, whether that be personally, academically or professionally.
We look for the following attributes in a fellowship candidate:
As a young social enterprise, we are still reliant on donations to support our work and to facilitate our programs. As such, there is a fundraising requirement for the fellowship.
City Growth Programs – $2,500 AUD
Scout Programs – $2,800 AUD (to cover additional travel costs)
We will request you pay the first $250 as a non-refundable deposit up-front to secure your place on the program.
While the fundraising can seem overwhelming, our alumni tell us it is actually one of the best parts of the whole Pollinate Energy experience, and they are surprised and overwhelmed by the support they receive. Our superstar fundraising alumni have shared their stories to help you on your journey, and we will provide you with one on one feedback and curated photos and materials to help you build your campaign.
We also partner with some major Universities in Australia, check out links on this page to see if you can get support.
Download our fundraising pack here to get a sense of what it’s like!
The fundraising will cover your costs while you are staying with us on the program, however you will need to cover your own costs for flights to and from the program location, visas, travel insurance, personal travel, medical and lunch each day. The remainder of the funds go towards our work to create a network of entrepreneurs who are providing families with access to life-changing technologies.
Your participation on this program, and the funds that you raise are critical to the expansion of our work in India. If for any reason you can no longer participate we ask that you inform us as soon as possible so that we can replace you with another well-deserving candidate. Any cancellation in the final 28 days leading up to your trip will incur a cancellation fee of $500 (which includes your $250 deposit).
Once you are accepted into one of our programs, you will be supported closely by a Pollinate Energy representative and some of our alumni to help you prepare for the journey. This includes:
Upon arrival in India, you will have an additional training and induction where you will learn about the products, our operations, and all the important health and safety information for life on the ground.
While you will be living in a shared environment with the rest of the program participants there is time to explore and to socialize. Program teams often do day tours to learn about local crafts, temples and other local sights. You can also organise one-day hiking trips, go shopping and head out for drinks at the local watering hole. There is truly something for everyone in India!
The program is run by Pollinate Energy’s program leaders, city co-founders and sometimes our executive team. Each has their own story to share and has been selected on their ability to lead inspiring and motivating programs to make sure you have the best hands-on experience in social enterprise that there is.
Prior to taking my subject of social entrepreneurship – I thought about a traditional corporate career and wanted to solve problems. The Fellowship program changed my mind as to what social enterprise can do. It uses the market but doesn’t make profit the focus, and it generates more impact than just funds and donations.
– Daniel Wizeman, Fellow 2014
You get to see on the ground how it works, it’s not just an airy concept you talk about. Data management and communication is important in a social enterprise like Pollinate Energy, and that was something I was interested in.
– Ben Gollow, Fellow 2015
Anyone can benefit from this program, you really just need skills that prepare you for challenges and confrontation. Pollinate Energy will put you directly into the situation on the ground to help you understand the social enterprise and communities much better.
– Isabel Baudish, Fellow 2015
During my time in Kolkata as a Pollinate Fellow I have discovered a lot, however three key things stand out to me. First, I discovered the pride of the often under represented slum community members of the city, who welcomed me into their homes, and smiled and laughed at my Bengali pronunciations. Next, I discovered the generosity and commitment of the Pollinate team that work so hard to ensure that operations run smoothly, and the objectives of the team are reached. Lastly, I discovered that when you work for a cause that aims to aid others and you see the resultant excitement on the faces of the recipients of this work, that this reward is better than anything commercial. I loved meeting the locals in the community here, and would recommend this fellowship to anyone wanting to experience elation, friendship and adventure.
– Josh Williams, Fellow 2016
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