Nuru Energy (B): From Breakdowns to Breakthroughs

Published 26 Feb 2013
Reference 5847
Region Other Regions
Length 2 page(s)
Prizes & Awards

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.

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
  • Q21213