This Indian pellet burning stove meets the triple bottom line criteria: People, Planet, and Profit. It helps people because it replaces the traditional wood burning stoves that cause health problems for the women who use them. It helps the planet because the pellets are made from a renewable resource, agricultural waste. And it helps profits because for $17 a pop, they're a good sales product for India's door-to-door entrepreneurs.
And the profit part of this equation turns out to be even more valuable than the money earned by the sale of the stove:
Many analysts agree that the commercial approach has better odds for success. "Anything that comes to the beneficiaries for free is not taken seriously," says Pradeep Kashyap, vice president of the Rural Marketing Agencies Association of India. Kashyap, who has evaluated previous stove projects, recalls other stoves that ended up as dusty shoe boxes because government programs typically suffer from "no targets, no accountability, and no responsibility."