IKEA Foundation announces partnership with SELCO Foundation to bring renewable energy to underserved communities

SELCO Foundation and the IKEA Foundation are announcing a new partnership that aims to provide reliable and affordable energy in India, where many impoverished families have little or no electricity for their homes, schools, livelihoods and health centres.  With the IKEA Foundation, SELCO Foundation will help over 160,000 adults and 400,000 children, providing them with healthier homes and better healthcare and educational opportunities.

SELCO Foundation was established in 2010 and its aim is to provide clean energy solutions for the under-developed communities. Understanding access to energy as a basic human right and as a means to other development activities, SELCO Foundation works on developing models that create long term sustained impact.

Harish Hande, Founder and CEO of SELCO Foundation says, “SELCO’s mission over the decades was to push for using sustainability as a catalyst for development while it being truly socially and environmentally complete. In this pursuit, we are thrilled to partner with a like-minded organization like IKEA Foundation to move the needle faster and make the world an inclusive and peaceful one.”

“Poverty escapes are not a one-way street, and the negative impacts of climate change are threatening the progress  many vulnerable communities have made so far. For these communities, building resilience represents one of the best ways to adapt to a changing climate. This is what we are trying to achieve with this new partnership,” Jeff Prins, Programme Manager for the IKEA Foundation, stated.

Lack of electricity has also curtailed the entrepreneurial ambitions of many impoverished families, leaving them little choice but to work as cheap labour for the middle and the wealthy classes, resulting in further social divide. Rural health services cannot provide adequate care without electricity, forcing the poor to travel large distances for better health facilities and making it more expensive for them to stay healthy and productive. Poor health, lack of opportunity to innovate or to create an enterprise, and the ever-widening technology divide all contribute to impoverished people remaining poor.

This partnership is one of several new partnerships announced by the IKEA Foundation on Earth Day. The IKEA Foundation is investing over €40 million in programmes run by Habitat for Humanity, One Acre Fund, Practical Action, Rainforest Alliance, SELCO Foundation, and UNHCR—the UN Refugee Agency—to bring renewable energy to families, helping them power up their communities and their futures.

About SELCO Foundation

The philosophy of SELCO Foundation is that decentralized renewable energy solutions need to be implemented holistically by combining technology, finance and social aspects to demonstrate the link between environmental sustainability and poverty alleviation. It ​develop​s​ holistic and replicable sustainable energy solutions across rural,​ ​urban and tribal poor communities to improve well being, health, livelihoods​ ​and education​, and creat​es​ processes and models to improve policy, education and​ ​entrepreneur incubation. Since 2010, SELCO Foundation has influenced grass-root level solutions and has also become a pioneering symbol of social innovation and sustainable energy for the poor across the world.

About IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation (Stichting IKEA Foundation) is the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group of companies. The IKEA Foundation aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in some of the world’s poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programmes that can create substantial, lasting change. The IKEA Foundation works with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life: a place to call home; a healthy start in life; a quality education; and a sustainable family income, while helping these communities fight and cope with climate change.


Media contact

In collaboration with
SELCO Foundation