Volunteer opportunities with Pollinate Energy in India

Image: Pollinate Energy
Image: Pollinate Energy

Pollinate Energy is an exciting social enterprise based in Australia and India that is working to improve the lives of India’s urban poor by providing access to energy. The experienced team at Pollinate Energy is committed to providing sustainable development and energy solutions as well as support the next generation of social entrepreneurs.

The organisation started in response to India having the world’s largest ever blackout on 31 July 2012, where some 600 million people were plunged into darkness. The founders of Pollinate Energy came together to find innovative ways to eliminate energy poverty. If you would like to get involved with Pollinate Energy, and learn and develop along the way, you can do so through the Fellowship or Young Professionals Program (YPP).


Young Professionals Program

The YPP is a two-week program based in Hyderabad, India, aimed at supporting new entrepreneurs in India (‘Pollinators’) to implement business innovation and grow their businesses at an early stage, as well as exposing participants to workshops with leading social entrepreneurs in India and career development opportunities. There are two rounds per year in April and September.

The program is highly structured and aimed at developing relationships between international participants, Indian participants and Pollinators. Each participant is placed in a team of 3-6 local and international young professionals to work on a major project which the team works on every morning. Some mornings will also involve career development workshops in which participants are encouraged to explore and develop their own entrepreneurial and leadership skills. In the second half of the day, international participants work side by side with a Pollinator and a Young Indian Professional counterpart to ensure that the Pollinator is appropriately skilled and capable of leading their own businesses at the end of the program.

The program is targeted at people who have either three years’ professional experience or are doing a Masters degree. Apart from these requirements, anyone at any stage in their career/field can apply.



The Fellowship program runs for three to four weeks, three times a year in February, July and December, and can be based in any one of Pollinate Energy’s operating cities in India. Fellowships are intensive hands-on programs for fellows to work closely in teams with other international fellows, local Indian fellows and a Pollinator who aims to start a micro-business venture providing sustainable energy products to the urban poor.

International fellows develop mentoring and entrepreneurial skills through supporting their Pollinator in learning Pollinate Energy processes, develop sales and customer service skills and even learn how to use a smart phone! While focused on on-the-job experience, the Fellow is also provided training and support by a Pollinate Energy representative and alumni in the lead up to the fellowship. Fellows are provided both pre-departure training sessions and an additional training induction in India when you arrive.

Pollinate Energy Fellowship Programs are open to candidates from all academic disciplines who are in their penultimate year of university or higher.

Note: if you are based in India and speak Kannada or Telugu, Pollinate Energy also offers a specific Indian Fellowship and Young Indian Professionals Program.


Program timeline. Image: Pollinate Energy
Program timeline. Image: Pollinate Energy


A few things you need to know


As a young social enterprise, Pollinate Energy is reliant on donations to support their work and facilitate their Professional Development Programs. As a result, if you are selected for the Fellowship or YPP programs, Pollinate Energy asks for you to fundraise a targeted amount.

The funds you raise will also cover your accommodation and meals costs while you are staying with Pollinate Energy during the program.

This just leaves you to cover your own flights, visas, travel insurance and any immunisation costs.

The current targeted amount for each program are as follows:

  • Fellowships program – $2,500AUD per participant, to be met one week prior to your trip.
  • YPP program – $3,500AUD per participant, to be met one week prior to your trip.


How to Apply

To apply, simply follow the links to the online applications for the Fellowship or the Young Professionals Program. The application is a two-stage process: a written application followed by an interview if your written application is successful.

Pollinate Energy seeks enthusiastic candidates with a passion for innovation and collaboration. In your application you will need to provide examples of your commitment to social enterprise, to finding new ways of doing things, working in a team, your understanding of development issues in India and ability to achieve results.

Remember to have a look at Asia Options’ 10 important tips for successful applications before you get started.


For further insight into the Pollinate Energy Young Professionals Program read Clare’s experiences of the program, which she undertook in Hyderabad.


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