popular award extra

Nuru Energy (A): Financing a Social Enterprise

Published 26 Feb 2013
Reference 5847
Region Global
Length 14 page(s)
Language English
Prizes & Awards

2023 The Case Centre Best-selling Classic Case in Entrepreneurship

Winner of the 2012 EFMD Case Writing Competition in the Category 'African Business Cases'

Runner Up of the 2012 oikos Case Writing Competition in the Category 'Social Entrepreneurship'


Case A describes the creation and growth of Nuru Energy. Starting from nothing, the founder 'bootstraps' a social venture with the goal of providing affordable and effective lighting solutions for 800 million people without access to the electricity grid in sub-Saharan Africa and India. The case narrates the challenges involved in developing a social enterprise with a dual aim of turning a profit and making a social impact. It focuses in particular on the financial challenge and provides a context to discuss difference financing options and their implications. It looks at the different business model alternatives - market-based and donor-based. The central theme is to assess the merits and drawbacks of the different funding alternatives. Case B is an update that explains what financing option the founder chose and its implications. It sets the stage for a discussion about trade-offs in the geographical expansion of social ventures. to access case videos and other support material.

Media Presence
Nuru Energy: Financing a Social Enterprise & From Breakdowns to Breakthroughs - the Nuru Energy case presentation on the Case Centre website.
oikos Case Quarterly: Energy, Issue 9, March 2013

Teaching objectives

The teaching objectives are for students to: - understand the emerging and diverse field of social investment (from donors to impact investors) - realise the importance of a sustainable business model and how it can be developed - discuss the role of the social entrepreneur, how to achieve focus and avoid burn-out

  • Energy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability
  • Social impact
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Hybrid organizations
  • Africa
  • Impact investing
Loading please wait.