Professionals Fellowship 2019-04-01T18:34:27+00:00

Professionals Fellowship Program

for professionals based outside India who want to volunteer in India


Volunteer in India. Take a break from the day-to-day, apply your knowledge to make a difference, and build your skills as a global leader, as you work hand-in-hand with our team to solve our social business challenges.

Professionals Fellowship Program 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 Professionals Fellowship you will join us for two weeks at one of our city offices in India.

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. You will put that learning into practice and use your knowledge and skills to help us overcome our most pressing business challenges.

You will see an agile and values-driven business in action, where your ideas today are put into practice that same 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 Professional Fellows have to say about the experience.

Download our latest brochure.

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?

You will travel to one of our city offices in India, where you will stay for two weeks with the rest of your Professionals Fellowship team (never a boring moment!) Every day, you and your team will work together as a mini consultancy alongside our Indian Fellows and our Pollinate Energy team to create new ways to overcome old (and new) problems. This will involve both office-based work and fieldwork.

The specific projects that your team will focus on will be set closer to the program dates to match your skills and our needs, but examples of projects include:

  • Incubating a new business line for our Pollinators by sourcing, trialling and launching new products (we launched improved cookstoves, water filters, mosquito nets and modular solar systems through Professional Fellowship programs)
  • Evaluating our impact on the ground through quantitative and qualitative surveys and workshops with customers and recommending improvements to enhance our impact
  • Building new recruitment channels and developing improved training materials and processes for our Pollinators.

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, and learn how you can redirect your focus to build the most fulfilling and meaningful career for you.

What does it all cost?

There is a fundraising requirement for the Professionals Fellowship of AU$4,000.

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$500 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 $500 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.



This was, without doubt, the best professional development program I have ever done. The program definitely changed my perspective on teamwork and getting things done. I’ve also significantly expanded my professional network and made friends for life.

Scott Watkins, Professionals Fellow April 2014
The Pollinate Energy Young Professionals Program is a ‘must do’ for anyone even remotely curious about changing the world for the better. I learnt more about India, poverty, social business and myself during the 2 week program than I have in the last 2 years!
Holly Hyder, Professionals Fellow 2013
The Professionals Fellowship made me realise just how achievable change was. Seeing it actually being carried out was fantastic.
George Blomfield, Professionals Fellows September 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, Professionals Fellow April 2015

Blogs from Previous Fellows

Lauren Ruster

Management consultant from PwC Indigenous Consulting shares what she discovered about being an intrapreneur from her time in Bangalore.
Read Lauren’s Blog

Scott Watkins

Organic photovoltaics research stream leader from CSIRO finds budding young scientists in the urban slums who can now study with solar lamps.
Read Scott’s Blog

Kate Crowley

Marketing Advisor from AECOM tells us how solar lights help urban slum families find their lost children and cows!
Read Kate’s Blog

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