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Clean and affordable energy for all

Ronit Kanwar, student and co-founder of Empower Energy, has been named as the first winner of the BP sponsored prize in the Lead2030 Challenge, a new initiative from the organizers of One Young World

One Young World (OYW) is a global summit bringing together young leaders to discuss solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. The Lead2030 challenge, organized by OYW in conjunction with their partner businesses, aims to help the world achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. There are 10 prize categories in the challenge each sponsored by a partner business. Winners in each category are awarded $50,000 to help implement their ideas and will also receive mentorship support from their challenge partner.


BP is the challenge partner for SDG7: ‘clean and affordable energy for all’. From a shortlist of six ‘very inspiring’ entries, the judging panel selected Ronit Kanwar and Empower Energy, for their initiative to connect rural communities in India with life-changing solar technologies.


Kanwar is a 21 year old student from the UK, and also co-founder and CEO of Empower Energy. BP is putting together a mentoring team to support Empower Energy over the next 12 months. 


Kanwar said:  “We received this award in the category for UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 on 'ensuring affordable, reliable and sustainable modern energy for all', which is exactly what we are trying to achieve for rural communities in India. In many ways, our communities have remained disconnected from the amazing economic and technological changes that have taken place in India. We aim to help bridge this gap - it's not simply about energy, but also about people's ability to take charge of their own incomes and the livelihoods of their families. For us, the Lead2030 prize provides validation of our approach - that our vision and model resonate with people. It comes at a great time too since it provides opportunities for expert mentoring and support from an established company (BP) that are going to be invaluable as we move into a growth phase over the next year, bringing our solution to more communities.”


He continued “We are looking forward to working with BP to learn from their experience and expertise in franchising, working in India and their business development. We are especially excited to build business partnerships over the next few months which will help us to scale our solution and impact.”

It's not simply about energy, but also about people's ability to take charge of their own incomes and the livelihoods of their families.Ronit Kanwar

Andrea Abrahams, director energy transition, Downstream, was on the judging panel, she said: “The Lead2030 projects have huge potential for bringing about positive change and addressing some of the world’s most pressing needs. Empower Energy’s winning entry could bring great advantages to the rural communities it reaches, introducing the benefits of clean, reliable energy sources that so much of the rest of the world takes for granted. We look forward to mentoring this team and supporting their work as it continues to grow.”


More about Lead2030

Formed by One Young World, Lead2030 is the first coalition of global businesses working together to support youth-led innovation aiming to meet the SDGs. The initiative is supported by the Challenge Partners – a range of major businesses working with One Young World.


Following its launch in October 2018, the initiative undertook a global search to identify the most impactful youth-lead solutions for the SDGs, analysing more than 1,200 submissions in 100+ countries.


More about One Young World

One Young World is the global forum for young leaders that enables them to create lasting positive change around the world. It believes that young people hold the solution when it comes to tackling the Global Goals – more than a third of which reference young people.


BP has been a proud supporter of OYW since 2016 and 59 delegates from BP have attended the annual summits so far. This year, as well as offering 30 places for staff aged 18-30, BP is the 'Low Carbon Partner' and will offset all emissions, including travel, for the event using Target Neutral. 


The 30 BP staff will be joined at OYW in October in London by group chief executive Bob Dudley and group chief economist Spencer Dale, who will deliver a keynote address.

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