Tristan KOCHOYAN, Founder Power :On

Tristan wrote his research thesis on social entrepreneurship and served as president of the NGO Action Pour le Bénin in 2009 and 2010.

France, Ile de France

A graduate of the business school HEC Paris, Tristan wrote his research thesis on social entrepreneurship and served as president of the NGO Action Pour le Bénin in 2009 and 2010. He founded Power:On to help increase access to electricity for the 1.2 billion people in the world who still live without it.


Power:On's mission

To offer remote villages in developing countries access to electricity from renewable energy sources at affordable prices, and to ensure that energy access leads to social development and economic opportunities.


The challenge

1.2 billion people around the world live without electricity and must rely on traditional fuels that are both expensive and harmful in order to meet their basic energy needs.

Most households without electricity are found in the rural regions of developing countries. These regions, which are often isolated and at times difficult to reach, are often left out of major statewide plans to extend national energy distribution networks.


The mission

Power:On is an electricity supplier devoted to the inhabitants of rural areas in developing countries.

Power:On operates hybrid solar-diesel-battery mini-grids that are able to take advantage of the immense renewable resources found in these regions. They are custom designed to respond precisely to people’s needs and to provide sufficient power to supply productive uses and create economic and social development opportunities. They also enable users to gain access to efficient energy at a more affordable price than poor-quality fossil fuels: carbon, kerosene, candles, batteries, etc.


The objectives

The problem of energy access can be eliminated in the next decade if it turns out that supplying energy to isolated communities in a sustainable and profitable way is possible. The continuing decrease of renewable technology prices has rendered market solutions accessible to even the most poverty stricken inhabitants, who spend a fortune on energy (up to 30% of their budget).

Our objective is to demonstrate the viability of our models, which cannot be done without the support of philanthropists wishing to finance social innovation. In doing so, we will contribute to structuring an ecosystem capable of leveraging the necessary resources to scale up new solutions, especially through the mobilization of “impact investing” actors.


The principles and means of action

Power:On is currently preparing the launch of a pilot project in Benin, in a rural community of 3,000 inhabitants. This first project should be operational by the end of 2014.


The project initiator

A graduate of HEC Paris, Tristan got involved in social entrepreneurship from the very beginning of his studies, and was the President of the NGO Action pour le Bénin in 2009 and 2010. His turn to entrepreneurship truly came about thanks to a class taught by a serial entrepreneur during an academic exchange program in South Africa, and with the writing of a research paper on change of scale in social enterprises. After graduating, Tristan created Power:On to contribute to electricity access, which 1.2 billion people worldwide still do not have.


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