for young people based outside India

A deep dive into the new age of development. On this program you can truly make a difference to families who don’t have access to sustainable products, and get hands on with our award-winning social enterprise in India.

Fellowship Overview

What is this program all about?

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.

Why should I do it?
  • Do you feel like there is more that you can do with your skills to make the world a better place?
  • Do you have a passion for sustainable – both environmental and financial – solutions to ending poverty?
  • Are you burning for a chance to get hands on and see the impact of your work?

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.

What will I be doing on the program?
City Growth Program

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.

What does a day look like for a fellow?

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:

  • Conducting community surveys and market analyses for new products,
  • Testing and trialling new products in communities,
  • Mapping new regions for Pollinators and collecting customer data through interviews;
  • Conducting business case assessments for new Pollinators, new products, and new regions.

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.

What do we look for in an applicant?

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:

  • A positive and self-motivated attitude
  • The ability to take initiative and work autonomously
  • Self-awareness and a desire to learn new skills
  • Consideration for those around them
  • Passion for sustainable solutions (both environmental and financial) to social issues

What does it cost?

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.

How do I fundraise?

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!

What does it cover?

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).

What kind of training and support will I get?

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:

  • An online meet and greet with the rest of your fellowship team
  • A face to face meet up (where possible) with one of our alumni to hear about their experience fundraising and on the program
  • A pre-departure training session, with more detail about our organisation, your role, and your projects

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.

Do we get time out?

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!

Who runs it?

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

Apply for the Program

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Supporting Universities
  • Mobility Grants are available, there are a limited number available and the process is highly competitive – Further information can be found online at http://www1.rmit.edu.au/scholarships/travel.
  • Participants must ensure they are Undergraduate and have one free elective in the degree structure.
Contact Chris Thompson at bus.wil@rmit.edu.au for more information..
UTS BUILD – $1500 scholarships:
  • Must be UTS BUILD member
  • Must be undergraduate student
  • GPA minimum 1.5
Contact Fiona Tschautt: fiona.tschautt@uts.edu.au.
USYD Business School – $2000 Scholarship: For course information contact Michael Katz: m.katz@econ.edu.au. For admin enquiries contact Venessa Ahern: venessa.ahern@sydney.edu.au.

Further Information

  • Fellowship Program

    How much is the Fellowship Program fundraising target?

    There is a $2500 fundraising target for Fellows wishing to participate in the Fellowship program. In order for Pollinate Energy to host Fellows, the suggested fundraising target should be met two weeks prior to arrival. Flights, visas and travel insurance must be paid for at each fellows’ personal cost.

    What are these funds used for?

    • Food, accommodation and some transport costs during your stay in India;
    • Support for our staff on the ground in India, who will in turn be your support foundation once you arrive;
    • Research activities of our on the ground activities – including learning about your new Pollinator’s communities, your Pollinator’s first year of business, the impact of our existing products and the impact of potential future products;
    • Promotion of Pollinate Energy in our markets in both our existing locations and new locations – including to customers in the slums, new Pollinators and supporters in India and Australia.

    What is required of me prior to undertaking the fellowship?

    • Pre-departure training to introduce you to your fellow fellows
    • Fundraise the suggested target
    • Obtain a 90-day tourist visa for travel to India through the Indian High Commission, Canberra
    • Have your vaccinations. Please check the Smart Traveller website, and visit your local GP or travel doctor to find out what you need to get
    • Book return flights to your fellowship location and arrange travel insurance
    • Support some part-time research and additional meetings with the team, this will be discussed at the training session
    • Finally, enjoy a life-changing four-week program in India!

    What do I need to bring?

    All bedding is provided. A towel seems to be the most common item forgotten!
    • Comfortable shoes for walking around…a lot!
    • Camera
    • Laptop (required)
    • Phone (recommended, we’ll help you get your SIM card)
    • Long sleeve tops and loose pants, as revealing clothes are generally not acceptable in most parts of the city
    • Small medical kit including Imodium and electrolytes
    • Towel
    • Mosquito repellent
    • Sunscreen

    How do I get to the program?

    You have a few options here.
    • If you arrive within our scheduled pick-up times, we will collect you from the airport. See ‘when should I arrive or depart’ for details.
    • If you arrive outside of the scheduled pick-up times, you may take an airport taxi to the program location (~$12-15AUD), or alternatively we can arrange for a driver to pick you up (~$40AUD).
    • If you are coming from elsewhere in India and travelling by train or bus, you are welcome to come straight to our address any time on the day before your program commences.
    It is important that you inform us of any changes in your arrival times immediately to ensure that we have someone available to meet you at the program location.

    When should I arrive or depart?

    All of our programs start on a Monday morning at 9am and end on a Friday at 5pm (with a dinner to celebrate afterwards). Suggested arrival and departures as follows:
    ARRIVAL: Saturday evening/Sunday immediately before Monday start date. DEPARTURE: Friday night (10pm+)/Saturday immediately after Friday finish date. Our team will coordinate an airport pickup with you, and you will be getting a taxi to the airport when you leave.

  • Hyderabad

    Where will I be staying?

    See here for our Hive locations.

    Is Hyderabad safe?

    Hyderabad is a relatively safe city. Just like traveling anywhere else, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and always exercise caution.

    What will the weather be like in Hyderabad?

    Hyderabad has a tropical wet and dry climate bordering on a hot semi-arid climate. The hottest months are March to June, where temperatures reach the high thirties (degrees celsius).

    What languages are spoken in Hyderabad?

    The main language spoken is Telegu (the language of the state Andhra Pradesh) and Hindi. Most people speak at least some English. We will give you a starting lesson in Telegu at the beginning of your program. This is the language that your Pollinator and local Indian counterparts will converse in.