for young professionals based outside India

Take a break and learn how your skills can make a difference as you work hand-in-hand with our team to solve our social business challenges.

YPP Overview

What is this program all about?

Step out of the office and into the dynamic world of a social startup operating at the bottom of the pyramid. On the Pollinate Energy YPP you will join us for two weeks at one of our city headquarters in India.

You will use your knowledge to help us overcome our most pressing business challenges, while learning about the problems faced by local entrepreneurs and families who are living in the slums of India’s major cities.

You will see an agile and values-driven business in action, where your ideas today are put into practice this afternoon, and you will learn how your skills as a professional can truly make a difference.

This is your chance to take time out, grab a hold of your career and steer yourself in the right direction. Watch this short video to hear what our Young Professionals have to say about the experience.

Why should I do it?
  • Are you looking for an opportunity to develop your skills in a practical way?
  • Are you at a juncture in your career and need something to inspire you to take that next step?
  • Are you interested in learning more about social enterprise models to tackle the world’s social and environmental problems?
  • Do you want to develop your professional network and experience working as part of a high performing team delivering real outcomes?

This program will throw you in the deep end with an international team of passionate and ambitious young professionals who want to make the world a better place. You will contribute to our business through meaningful projects and learn how your skills can be used to make a difference.

What will I be doing on the program?

You will travel to one of our city headquarters in India, where you will stay for 2 weeks with the rest of your Young Professional team (never a boring moment!). Every day, you and the rest of your team will work together as a mini consultancy alongside our Young Indian Professionals and with input from our Pollinators to create new ways to overcome old problems.

The issue that your program is dealing with will be set closer to the program dates to match your skills and our needs, but historically they have included:

  • Incubating a new business line for our Pollinators by bringing in new products (cookstoves/water filters),
  • Evaluating our impact on the ground through quantitative and qualitative surveys and recommending improvements,
  • Developing new recruitment channels and training materials for our Pollinators.

In addition, you will participate in personal and professional development sessions led by your hosts – our City Cofounders and Executive team. This is your opportunity to learn more about what motivates you and how you can redirect your career so that it is fulfilling and meaningful.

What do we look for in an applicant?

We know it says ‘Young’ Professionals, but we won’t discriminate on age. This program is for people who have worked in their industry or undertaken a Masters degree, and are looking for a new sense of perspective and direction in their career.

Pollinate Energy’s Young Professionals:

  • Have a desire to explore different communities and cultures
  • Take initiative and are driven to challenge the status quo
  • Are passionate about sustainable models to overcome today’s biggest socio-environmental issues
  • Have empathy and consideration for others, and excellent interpersonal skills, and importantly
  • Are willing to learn more about themselves and their place in the world

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 program of $3,500AUD. 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.

Download our fundraising pack here to get a sense of what it’s like!

The $3,500AUD will cover your costs while you are staying with us on the program, however you will need to cover your own costs for flights, visas, travel insurance and medical. 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 your $250 deposit will go towards).

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 funky micro-breweries in the heart of the city. 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.

YPPers Sep14

The YPP made me realise just how achievable change was. Seeing it actually being carried out was fantastic.

– George Blomfield, YPP 2014

I’m now thinking differently about the opportunities for social business and traditional aid and assistance to make the world a better place. It’s broadened my perspective and knowledge of opportunities that are out there for me to create change.

– Clare Condon, YPP 2015

It made me realise that all you need is commitment to make it work. It doesn’t have to be complex, small ideas and actions can change people’s lives dramatically. It’s meant that I feel more optimistic and capable.

– Laura Dawson, YPP 2014

It was inspiring to see what a group of young people can achieve if they really set their minds to it. You are completely immersed in the business and get to see their day to day challenges. I learnt a lot!

– Kate Van Homrigh, YPP 2014

Apply for the Program

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Further Information

  • Young Professionals Program

    How much is the Young Professionals Program fundraising target?

    There is a $3500 fundraising target for candidates wishing to participate in the Intrapreneurship program. In order for Pollinate Energy to host candidates in Bangalore, the suggested fundraising target should be met two weeks prior to arrival.

    Flights must be paid for at each YPPer’s personal cost. Affordable return flights from Australia can be found with Scoot and Tiger Airlines. Direct flights from London to India through British airways are also available.

    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 YPP?

    • Pre-departure training to introduce you to your fellow YPPers
    • 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 program 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!

    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.

  • 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.

  • All Programs

    What vaccinations do I need?

    It is best to check the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website and consult your GP or a travel doctor prior to departure. We would advise you do this early, as you may have to get a few injections over time, and they can be costly!

    What will the food be like?

    Indian! We provide two meals a day, a western breakfast and Indian dinner. Lunch is at your expense, generally at one of the local eateries, which might cost around a dollar!

    Do I need a visa?

    Yes, you will need to apply for a tourist visa through the Indian High Commission. You can fill out a form online and send in your passport by post for processing, or take it in person to the Indian visa office in your city. Australian applicants can find out more on the VHS website here:   Please note, whilst visas generally only take up to 5 days to process, we advise you to apply at least two weeks prior to your departure to avoid any mishaps!

    How much money do I need to bring?

    Program participants will generally spend 300Rs (~$6AUD) on local travel and food expenses only. Any extra spending will depend upon your extra-curricular activities, but as a guide – lunch might cost about 50 cents and dinner $4 at a local restaurant. A beer is $2, tea 10 cents, or a fancy meal at an international restaurant about $10. A ride in a rickshaw can be 50c – $8AUD depending how far you go. Shopping for clothes is also very cheap, depending on how much shopping you want to do.

    How do I organise a flight?

    Scoot Airlines and Tiger have the cheapest connecting flights from Australia to India via Singapore. Otherwise, is a great source for comparing flight prices for a range of airlines.

    Will I have internet access?

    Yes, the house you’ll be living in is set up with wi-fi.

    Do I need travel insurance?

    Yes, travel insurance is compulsory for all program participants. To find the best policy, we recommend using a travel insurance comparison company. Note that you should advise your travel insurance provider of the type of work you are doing under your visa. We recommend our participants to use STA and Covermore as they have confirmed their cover of program participants.

    Can I arrive a day later, or leave a day earlier?

    Our programs are designed to provide you with a complete personal and professional development experience, including preliminary training and group sessions, as well as final presentations and exit interviews. We require all participants to attend the entire length of the program, so that you  can complete your team assignments effectively, and can get the most out of your time with us in India.

    I'm getting in early - where can I stay?

    While we can’t provide you with accommodation outside of the nominated program times, there are a number of guest houses nearby that we can recommend to you if you get in touch.

    Why do I need to get a police check?

    All staff, volunteers and program participants spending time with Pollinate Energy are required to obtain a Police Check from their local area. This is a requirement from AUSAID which we must adhere to. Australian Nationals can obtain their police check here:

    What about banking?

    There are plenty of ATMs near the program location, from a variety of different banks. We recommend that you get in contact with your bank service provider to inform them of your travel plans. Many banks will now no longer let you perform online transactions from another country without SMS codes – which may cause you some trouble – and can give you an alternative as long as you let them know you’re going.

    Do I need a mobile phone?

    We strongly recommend that all participants bring a mobile phone. Credit is extremely cheap in India, we’ll take you to pick up a sim card in your first few days. A mobile phone will be helpful as you will be entering new communities, it’s useful to have mapping capabilities and drop pins as you travel around. You will be in small teams in the field, and may need to contact each other or the headquarters on the go. Please note that micro sim cards – whilst not impossible – are more difficult to obtain. You will also need to unlock your phone prior to arriving in India. Simply google ‘unlock optus i-phone’ or similar to find out how. If that fails, contact your service provider.

    Can I drink the water?

    No! You will not be able to drink regular tap water, however we have filtered bottled water available in the house at all times, and filtered tap water for cooking and making tea. (You will be drinking lots of tea). Bottles of water on the go cost around 10c.

    Do I get any time off?

    Of course you do! As most of the work in the communities will occur in the evening and night-time, we don’t usually start until mid-late morning. This means you have the mornings to do your own thing, including exercise or some shopping the local neighbourhood. You will also get Saturdays off and we will give you some few tips on things you can see nearby.

    Who is running the program?

    Your program will be coordinated by none other than the Pollinate Energy founding team. Boasting a wealth of experience across public and private industry, start-ups, international development, engineering and economics, you are bound to embark upon many an interesting conversation with us on the ground. Sometimes we bring in some special guests to help facilitate the program, and we will also introduce you to a number of other friends in the local area who are involved in other exciting social enterprise endeavours.

    Do I need an adaptor plug?

    We have a whole lot of universal power boards in our office and around the house, so you won’t need your own plug. However, if you’re planning to travel then definitely bring one along. Indian plug types are highly variable so we recommend you bring a universal adaptor, or at least few different kinds.

    How do I fundraise to reach my target?

    We know fundraising may seem a bit overwhelming right now, but you would be surprised at how quickly you can get this up and running. Once you are selected on a program, we’ll provide you with:
    •  A fundraise starter kit, including sample flyers and letters to help you coordinate your campaign
    • Tips and tricks on effective ways to reach out to your networks including campaign ideas
    • Insights from our previous fundraisers on what did and didn’t work for them
    So don’t fret! Our participants always tell us how much fun the fundraising component was, and are delighted at the generosity of their community. You can also contact us to discuss your fundraising options once you have been selected.

    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.