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Breaking the bias

Gender, entrepreneurship, and energy

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As part of our efforts to promote investment, entrepreneurship, and innovation, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Capability for the Hindu Kush Himalaya (REEECH) Initiative has set up a Renewable Energy Solution in Agriculture (RESA) incubation programme. During its incubation phase, where eight businesses were selected for incubation, we involved women of diverse backgrounds in non-conventional roles in all enterprises to break numerous biases. Across all enterprises, women are either leading the business, driving technology in agriculture, or bringing innovation to their business.

BIAS: ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS ONLY FOR THE YOUTH, AFFLUENT, AND EDUCATED

Through capacity building, the single women of Chhahari Krishi Samuha – aged 60 and above – now negotiate with the bank for funds to scale their business, backed up by a strong investment plan.

BIAS: INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY ARE NOT WOMEN’S FORTE

Subhawana Subba, team member of a vertical hydroponics farm called Muttha, has a degree in biotech engineering and has designed a hydroponics monitoring system which has incorporated solar panels as a renewable energy source.

BIAS: RENEWABLE ENERGY (SOLAR POWER, WIND POWER, HYDROPOWER) IS TOO TECHNICAL AND NOT MANAGEABLE FOR NON-EXPERTS

Saugat Griha – a micro enterprise cooperative that produces paper, food, and textile products – switched to solar dryers operated by women in many villages. They sought support for product diversification, and we sought to break the bias at each node of the value chain – from input supply to consumer – by bringing more women in the forefront of agricultural businesses incorporating renewable energy.

The Renewable Energy Solutions in Agriculture (RESA) Incubation Programme introduces renewable energy solutions in the agriculture value chain for both efficiency and environmental and social sustainability, ultimately building business resilience

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