The Sankalp Forum and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves have formed a strategic partnership to launch the Sankalp -Alliance Award for Innovation in Clean Cooking Solutions aimed at recognizing and supporting entrepreneurs and innovation in the clean cooking sector in India.

The award is part of the Alliance’s strategic plan to increase the level of resources, grants, and investment in the sector on par with comparable global development challenges. Household air pollution (HAP) — emanating from traditional chulhas burning wood, coal and animal dung as fuel — is the largest health risk factor for Indians. According to recently published Global Burden of Disease estimates, HAP causes over one million deaths in South Asia every year.

“For decades, a lack of funding and financing for the clean cooking sector has prevented manufacturers, distributors, and other actors from scaling up to address the safe and clean cooking needs of millions of people,” said Radha Muthiah, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “Driving investment in the sector is an integral part of the Alliance’s strategy to catalyze markets worldwide.”

The Alliance and Sankalp have come together to create a platform to showcase and recognize socially relevant enterprises with proven innovative approaches to tackle one or more of the barriers across the clean cookstoves and fuels value chain, and offer them the opportunity to access early stage investment capital. The winning enterprise must also be able to demonstrate how it will contribute to the Alliance’s goal of 100 million homes adopting clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020.

Enterprises that promote the use of clean cookstoves and fuels address the health and environmental impacts associated with burning solid fuels in traditional cookstoves, as well as improve the livelihoods of women who spend a considerable amount of time collecting fuel. Applications for the award opened on the 28th of February and will close on the 23rd of March. The winning enterprise will receive a cash grant of USD 15,000 along with the opportunity to be considered for the Alliance’s Spark Fund and strategic mentoring advice from sector experts. The winner of the award will be felicitated at the Sankalp Unconvention Summit 2013.

About the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves:

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The Alliance’s 100 by ‘20 goal calls for 100 million households to adopt clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. The Alliance is working with its public, private and non-profit partners to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production, deployment, and use of clean cookstoves in developing countries. For more information, please visit www.cleancookstoves.org.

About Sankalp Forum

Since its launch in 2009, Sankalp Forum – an Intellecap Initiative, has created an eco-system of social entrepreneurs, impact investors and policy makers who are committed to furthering the cause of social impact through market-based approaches. The Sankalp Forum is designed to catalyze impact investments in sustainable and scalable enterprises in India and South East Asia, operating across five high impact sectors - Agriculture, Food & Rural Businesses, Education, Clean Energy, Health, Water & Sanitation and Technology for Development.

Today, Sankalp Forum has grown to become a collaborative network of over 11,000 stakeholders globally. The Forum engages with the impact creating community, including entrepreneurs, investors, enablers, policy makers; through a year-round calendar of initiatives and networking opportunities to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship at the “bottom of the pyramid”. For more information http://sankalpforum.com/

About Sankalp Summit and Awards

Sankalp hosts the globally largest Summit focused on social enterprises - Sankalp Summit - held annually in Mumbai that brings together more than 1,000 delegates, thought leaders, industry experts, policy makers from around the world to voice, discuss, debate issues, trends and possible solutions that aid the social enterprise development. Through Sankalp Social Enterprise Awards, it identifies and recognizes sustainable and scalable business models that work to solve some of the most challenging problems that the world faces. By its 4th edition in 2012, Sankalp Awards had recognized over 200 enterprises and awarded over 40 highly scalable social enterprises that have impacted more than 100 million lives and created 58,000 jobs. Of these, around 30 enterprises have received investments. For more information http://sankalpforum.com/about-sankalp-awards/

About Intellecap

Intellecap is a pioneer in providing innovative business solutions that help build and scale profitable and sustainable enterprises dedicated to social and environmental change. Intellecap’s unique positioning at the intersection of social and commercial business sectors allows it to attract and nurture intellectual capital that combines the business training of the commercial world with the passion and commitment of the social world to shape distinctive solutions.

Intellecap was founded in 2002 and has more than 80 employees. It has worked with more than 60 Clients on over 250 engagements across 15 countries. For more information www.intellecap.com