FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BOSTON – Global nonprofit Echoing Green today awarded Solstice Initiative founders Steph Speirs and Steve Moilanen a highly competitive and coveted Fellowship for their work to provide solar power to underserved Americans.
The Fellowship is a prize given to the most innovative, bold ideas for social change in the world. Echoing Green offers seed funding, mentoring, and leadership opportunities to the one percent of applicants that they select.
In response to receiving the fellowship, Speirs said, “It’s a true honor for Solstice to be recognized by a celebrated organization like Echoing Green. More Americans using solar power will help families save money and preserve the environment—and this fellowship allows us to do just that.”
Solstice is the first social enterprise dedicated to putting affordable solar power within reach of every American, particularly the 80 percent that cannot install solar panels on their roof. Under the Solstice model, households purchase a portion of a community-shared solar array, enabling them to access clean energy for the first time and save money on their utility bill—without an upfront cost. Solstice is based in Boston and currently undertaking projects in southern and central Massachusetts, with plans for expansion to multiple states.
52 organizations were chosen based on a rigorous selection process from a pool of 3,629 global candidates. As part of the program, Speirs and Moilanen will receive $90,000 in funding for two years, a health insurance stipend, leadership development courses, pro bono services, mentoring from leading business professionals and, most importantly, become part of a global network of social impact professionals.
“We’re inspired by the other dedicated leaders selected for the 2015 Echoing Green Fellowships and will support and champion them as they continue working to make the world a healthier, safer, and more equitable place to live,” said Moilanen.
Since 1987, Echoing Green has invested almost $40 million in seed-stage funding and strategic assistance to nearly 700 world-class leaders driving positive social change in more than sixty countries. Past Fellows have included the founders of Teach For America, City Year, Citizen Schools, One Acre Fund, and SKS Microfinance.
“Echoing Green Fellowships are designed to help these emerging leaders go further, faster, to change the world. We’re proud to be investing in tomorrow’s leaders,” said Echoing Green President Dr. Cheryl Dorsey. “Many of the Fellows chosen are leading projects in the earliest stages, when it is hardest to find the necessary resources to get off the ground.”
Solstice Initiative was founded in 2014 and was selected for the Princeton eLab Accelerator Program and Halcyon Incubator, which supports social enterprises with ambitious visions of social change. It won the Audience Choice Award at Princeton Entrepreneurs’ Network Startup Competition and has received accolades from the Verizon Powerful Answers award and MIT’s Climate CoLab prize.
Full descriptions of the 2015 Echoing Green Fellows can be accessed at http://echoinggreen.org/2015-fellows.
Read Echoing Green’s official announcement, which mentions Solstice Initiative, here.