Mpowerd harnesses power of business for social good

  • Posted by Haitian Times
  • May 20, 2013 6:00 PM EDT

NEW YORK, NY — The combination of business metrics with a social mission has been a winning strategy for established American companies like Tom’s Shoes and Timberland. One Haitian-American entrepreneur, Jacques-Philippe Piverger, has recently entered the global renewable energy market with a new innovation named Luci, made and sold by his company, Mpowerd, to help end energy poverty around the world. Luci is an inflatable, plastic LED solar lantern that charges in the sun for 5-6 hours and provides up to 12 hours of light. It holds a charge for 2 months, which makes it a useful task lamp and a portable light.

Though Piverger has worked in financial investments for over a decade, his philanthropic efforts were the source of inspiration for his start-up company. The former All-American wrestler with an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business has helped start two non-profits, the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP), which provides access to capital and leadership development for women and minorities, and Soleil Global (formerly The Global Syndicate), a channel for bringing renewable energy to developing countries — which began its work in Haiti’s Central Plateau region, with hopes to expand globally. The organization’s Light Up the World project distributed over 1,000 portable lights last year — which they believe will aid efforts to boost agriculture, education, as it reduces gender-based violence since it can be used by local farmers, school children and women.

Now, Mpowerd, a benefit corporation founded in 2012, is harnessing the power of business to fight for, what they call solar justice...

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