Sunlabob joins international sustainable development and aid forum

2013-02-Development-forum

Sunlabob underscores central role of private sector in rural energy and clean water access

Sunlabob recently joined senior experts in the international relief and development sector at the Aid & International Development Forum in Bangkok, Thailand to discuss pathways for cross-Asia collaboration, share best practices and showcase technologies contributing to long-term sustainable development and disaster preparedness.

Alongside more than 1,000 attendees representing governments, aid agencies, NGOs and businesses, Sunlabob focused its discussions on the vital role of community-based off-grid renewable energy and clean water solutions within humanitarian aid and long-term rural development programs.

“Enabling access to energy is a central piece to rural development as well as in humanitarian aid situations,” said Andy Schroeter, Sunlabob Renewable Energy co-founder and CEO. “Rural electrification can only be sustainable – socially and economically – if members of the community are involved and empowered from the beginning.”

As a commercially-focused social enterprise, Sunlabob’s innovative community-based operational models that emphasize micro-entrepreneurship and capacity building have effectively delivered rural renewable energy and clean water to more than 600,000 beneficiaries throughout Asia-Pacific, Africa and India.

“With the rise of innovative entrepreneurs throughout the developing world, now is the time to increase private sector engagement within international development efforts,” said Schroeter. “Combining the skills and experience of the private sector with the resources of the public sector is a critical step in supporting and accelerating sustainable rural development.”

Sunlabob works in close collaboration with public agencies such as the United Nations and The World Bank, but believes coordination between public and private sector players can improve within the international development context.

“Ensuring that all players in a rural energy development effort – the public and private sectors and the local community – are synced up from the planning and design stages are critical to a project’s long-term viability and success,” said Schroeter.

Schroeter often speaks on behalf of Sunlabob to discuss the importance of the private sector within global development efforts and poverty reduction initiatives, most recently speaking at the United Nations Development Programme and The Global Compact’s “Workshop on Inclusive Business Development” in Seoul, South Korea.