Barefoot Power was named 2010’s Coolest Company at Anthill Magazine’s Fifth Annual Cool Company Awards last week, topping off an extremely successful year for the social enterprise.
Taking out the Social Capitalist category in which it was a finalist, Barefoot Power was then chosen as the Coolest Company from the eight category winners.
The national awards program was developed in 2006 to recognise Australian companies that are doing things differently to bring about positive change – something Barefoot Power was solely set up to achieve.
More than 700 aspiring ‘cool companies’ were nominated for the 2010 awards and results have been published on AnthillOnline.com.
It is the wider recognition received from an award like Anthill Magazine’s Cool Company that makes investors sit up and take notice of Barefoot Power, co-founder Stewart Craine said.
“Being the Coolest Company for 2010 shows a social enterprise like Barefoot Power can compete with mainstream companies, who are vying for the same funding opportunities. Awards like Anthill’s really levels the playing field for us,” Mr Craine said.
“This has been a great year for such recognition at a national and international level for our enterprise, which is just about to reach its initial target of providing lighting to one million people,” he added.
This win concludes a big year for Barefoot Power, which was one of two winners in the 2010 Consensus GreenTech Awards earlier this month, a winner in the G-20 SME Finance Challenge, one of two winners at the first CTI PFAN Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing and Barefoot Power won three awards in the World Bank’s Lighting Africa program.
“These wins will help significantly with our current Series B round of equity capital raising. We are now looking for more investors, especially Australian investors, as most of our funding currently comes from overseas,” he added.
Anthill Magazine Editor-In-Chief James Tuckerman said the Cool Company Awards judges were wowed by how Barefoot Power’s simple concept that made such a difference and said, “The Coolest Company has demonstrated success by doing things differently or defying convention to bring about positive change”.
“By replacing kerosene-fed lamps with its highly innovative and practical solar-powered LEDs, Barefoot Power provides the poor with access to electricity and one very necessary tool for economic development… light,” Mr Tuckerman explained.
The company also secured a €1 million grant from the European Union via EuropeAid this year and was named in the 2010 and 2009 Australian Anthill Smart 100 Awards.
Barefoot Power has also recently been featured on the Sky News Business Social Business show, in conjunction with the Centre for Social Impact, and appeared on ABC’s New Inventors program in July.
Barefoot Power appreciates the support shown by Anthill, The European Union, Ashoka ChangeMakers, the G-20, CTI PFAN and the Centre for Social Impact.
For more information visit www.barefootpower.com