Portfolio Learning

How integrating women into the energy value chain drives impact in rural Indian communities

Group of ladies watching stove demo

Inclusion of women in the energy value chain, from product distribution to sales, market research to behaviour change, needs significant engagement at a local level yet can have a catalytic impact in the community.

In the latest learning to come out of our POWERED (Promotion of Women in Energy Related Enterprises for Development) Programme in India, Dharma Life have produced a report on their efforts to better integrate women into the value chain for energy-related products.

Various sources referenced in full report

Dharma Life builds and trains a network of entrepreneurs to provide socially impactful products and services to low-income households. Having recruited and trained 3000 women entrepreneurs, they tested several interventions within an 18 month period to see the impact on women’s lives in eight Indian states, including:

  • Providing the entrepreneurs with ‘start-up kits’ including product samples and up-front inventory finance
  • Partnering with corporates to run behaviour change campaigns to create awareness and drive last mile adoption
  • Piloting consumer financ­ing for social impact products (such as induction cooktops) among its consumer base.

Download the full report (pdf, 2mb)



Shell Foundation and the UK Government launched the POWERED (Promotion of Women in Energy Related Enterprises for Development) Programme in 2018 to promote gender inclusion in the Indian energy development sector by creating jobs, supporting women-led businesses and undertaking research on the sector.