About IEEE Smart Village

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Systematic Solutions for Empowering a Community.

IEEE Smart Village (ISV) has a unique approach to support the world’s energy-impoverished communities by providing a comprehensive solution combining renewable energy, community-based education, and entrepreneurial opportunities. ISV provides seed-funding to carefully selected community entrepreneurs based upon a credible business plan that will impact significant number of people with electricity, education and jobs.

The challenges of starting and sustaining a successful business in the developing world are extreme to say the least. The IEEE Smart Village entrepreneurs are the true heroes. They have learned to build the confidence and support of their local communities. They consistently demonstrate a deep respect for preserving the best of local cultures and heritages while gracefully introducing new technology and business practices. Some of the challenges that they have had to overcome include extremes of climate, altitude, floods, currency devaluations, power blackouts, media blackouts, political instability, local rivalries and contentious elections.

Entrepreneurs funded by IEEE Smart Village collaborate in a very open way to share their experiences, successes, difficulties and lessons learned. For example, the entrepreneurs started in Africa since 2012 are still in operation with the original founders at the helm. They meet regularly to discuss how to improve their business plans.

IEEE Smart Village supports these efforts with volunteers spanning multiple disciplines including fund development, technology, education, proposal evaluation, marketing, program operations and partner engagement. Many of the ISV Volunteers are IEEE members. However, that is not a requirement and volunteers are needed from a wide range of backgrounds. For those interested, volunteer information is on the Join Us section of this web site.

Our Mission

IEEE Smart Village integrates sustainable electricity, education,
and entrepreneurial solutions to empower off-grid communities

Our Vision

A world where all people enjoy equal access to electricity and education to grow opportunities and leverage change for themselves and others.

Our Pillars


IEEE Smart Village provides renewable-energy solutions and necessary funding to local entrepreneurs to build electricity companies, assists the partners in establishing a sustainable business plan and delivers ongoing training. The entire community participates in the success of the local electricity business, and profits are reinvested in community empowerment through economic development and learning.


IEEE Smart Village’s education program features two complementary components that have been identified as crucial to helping stimulate sustainable community prosperity. Through a unique partnership with Regis University and the Posner Center for International Development in Denver, Colorado, IEEE Smart Village offers:

  • The Development Practice graduate certificate in holistic approaches to development knowledge and humanitarian engineering, readying engineers to apply best practices in their communities or organizations, and
  • Community Entrepreneurship vocational training, providing students with sufficient, wide-ranging knowledge to deploy, maintain and franchise an IEEE Smart Village seed- funded micro-utility.

Our philosophy of empowering local entrepreneurs is unique in this philanthropic endeavor. These business owners have personally invested in the success of their community. The success of the energy business is dependent on their neighbors being successful shop owners, seamstresses, and productive farmers. The pride in accomplishments achieved together furthers the economic growth of the area.