Student Fellowship

for young people based outside India

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Come and experience a deep dive into the new age of development, work on strategic business projects and make a difference to the lives of families living in India’s urban slums.

Student Fellowship Overview

What is this program all about?

Designed to foster tomorrow’s leaders, Pollinate Energy’s Student Fellowship program 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 one of our city offices 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 slums and spend time interacting with them to understand their challenges and needs, and you will put that learning into practice as you work alongside our team on strategic projects that help improve our business.

During your time in India you will create a lasting impact – both for yourself and for the communities that we serve. Watch this short video put together by a former group of Fellows to find out more.

Why should I do it?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, this program is right for you!

What will I be doing on the program?

We have created a program with a blend of office and field work, so that you get the most rounded experience of working in a social enterprise at the bottom of the pyramid. Typically, you will spend the mornings together in the office working on the research and testing side of your projects, and then you will spend the afternoons in the field conducting product testing, supporting Pollinators or surveying customers as per the requirements of your program. Through your time in the field you will gain valuable insights into how our customers live and the challenges that they face, and the projects you work on will directly impact their lives for the better.

In addition, you will participate in personal and professional development sessions led by Pollinate Energy City Leaders. This is your opportunity to self-reflect, understand what truly motivates you, learn more about the social enterprise landscape and find your path forward.

City Growth Program

You will travel to one of our city offices in India, where you will stay for 3-4 weeks.

Each day you work in small teams on a strategic project that will help Pollinate Energy grow. The projects are determined closer to the program dates to match your skills and our needs, but examples of projects include:

  • Conducting community surveys and market analyses to recommend new product lines
  • Developing new branding strategies and collateral to support our Pollinators to sell effectively
  • Sourcing and trialling new products in communities and seeking customer feedback
  • Mapping slum communities across the city and collecting customer data through interviews

Scout Program

We have big plans to grow across India and scale our impact. By joining a Scout program you will travel to a new city in India where we are not yet operating, and help us assess the suitability of those cities for Pollinate Energy. You work with our team to undertake a comprehensive needs assessment and answer questions such as:

  • What is the size of the slum population?
  • What are the primary needs of the slums and do they have access to basic products and services?
  • What other organisations are already working in those slums?

You will ultimately help us make a decision – should Pollinate move into this city?

City Incubation Program

You will travel to our newest city office in India, where you will help establish operations, working with the local team for 3-4 weeks. Experience a social enterprise in its satellite start-up phase!

Each day you work in small teams on strategic projects that will help Pollinate Energy enter this new market. The projects are determined closer to the program dates to match your skills and our needs, but examples of projects include:

  • Help Pollinators to forge relationships with key community stakeholders
  • Reviewing data & market research to identify most viable communities for Pollinators to initially target
  • Work with city managers & India HQ to support our Pollinators in their first months as Micro-Entrepreneurs
  • Tracking uptake and use of new products in communities and seeking customer feedback
  • Review, update & map locations and sizes of slum communities, as well as identifying and visiting new communities

What does it all cost?

There is a fundraising requirement for the Fellowship:

  • City Programs – AU$2,800
  • Scout Programs – AU$3,000 (to cover additional travel costs)

In order for us to host you, your fundraising target should be met two weeks prior to arrival. There is an upfront non-refundable deposit of AU$300 to secure your place on the program.

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 $300 deposit).

Further Information

The funds you raise will cover the majority of your costs while you are staying with us on the program. You will need to cover your own costs for flights to and from India, visa, travel insurance, personal travel beyond the program, and lunch each day.

50% of all fellowship funds  go towards our work in India providing life-changing products to people who need them most.

We don’t discriminate based on your field 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 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.

While 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 that provide sponsorship, so check out links on this page to see if you can get support.

Download our fundraising pack here!

Once you are accepted into a program, you will be supported closely by the Pollinate Energy team 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 more about the products we sell, our operations, and all the important health and safety information for life on the ground.

You will be living in a shared environment with the rest of the program participants for the duration of your time on the program. However, we do provide you with time off to explore and socialise, as well as information about things to do. Program teams often organise day tours or overnight trips to explore nearby sights and learn more about Indian culture. You can also organise day hiking trips, go shopping or 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 City Leaders. Each City Leader 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 possible hands-on experience in social enterprise.

Testimonials

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

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

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

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

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