Bright_Light_Innovations[1] - 1 Case Study Bright Light...

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Case Study: Bright Light Innovations, The Starlight Stove Over 3 billion people survive on less than $2.50 a day; this is nearly half of the world’s population. Furthermore, some 2.5 billion people are forced to rely on biomass- fuelwood, charcoal, and animal dung- to meet their energy needs for cooking. According to GlobalIssues.org, “Indoor air pollution resulting from the use of solid fuels [by poorer segments of society] is a major killer. It claims the lives of 1.5 million people each year, more than half of them below the age of five: that is 4000 deaths a day. To put this number in context, it exceeds total deaths from malaria and rivals the number of deaths from tuberculosis. ( http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts- and stats#fact14).” Driven by environmental degradation and poverty, students and faculty from Colorado State University’s College of Business and Engineering developed a product called the Starlight Stove, “an improved stove that increases the efficiency of burning biomass while eliminating air pollution and acting as a source of light (http://nciia.org/taxonomy/term/54).” The product will be of great benefit to the poverty stricken because it will tremendously reduce indoor air pollution and provide the much- needed light that individuals need. It is not clear how the University faculty and students will get the product to the masses, however, a feasible way for individuals in their target market to pay for them is through the use of microfinancing. According to MicrofinanceGateway.org, “Most microcredit borrowers have microenterprises unsalaried, informal income- generating activities. However, microloans may not predominantly be used to 1
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start or finance microenterprises. Scattered research suggests that only half or less of loan proceeds are used for business purposes. The remainder supports a wide range of household cash management needs, including stabalizing consumption (www.microfinancegateway.org/p/site/m/template.rc/1.26.9183/).” For this reason, microfinancing would be the perfect solution for individuals to utilize in purchasing the Starlight Stove for their households as the alternative would be via the use of donations and grants which have been known to run out of funding. Bill Drayton of the Harvard Business Review states, “Only the private sector, not government, can meet the needs of social entrepreneurs and provide on a sustainable
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