Clean Cooking Alliance Announces 2019 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year
The Clean Cooking Alliance (Alliance) has named Neha Juneja, CEO and Co-Founder of India’s largest cookstoves manufacturer Greenway Appliances, as the organization’s 2019 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. The award recognizes outstanding female leaders in the household energy sector who are advancing clean cooking solutions in emerging markets.
Juneja founded Greenway in 2011 to deliver “high- and immediate-impact” household energy solutions to consumers in developing countries. Born and raised in India, Juneja felt a personal connection to this everyday challenge facing so many families. “It seemed very odd to me that, on one hand, we are going to Mars, and on the other hand, we haven’t found an appropriate solution to deliver clean cooking to half the world’s population,” said Juneja.
Juneja and her team consciously chose to serve consumers at the bottom of the pyramid, to set an example of a viable and successful business model that focuses on the needs of low-income customers.
Juneja has grown Greenway into the biggest clean cooking enterprise in India. Under her leadership over the last eight years, Greenway has evolved from a bootstrapped team of three personnel to a large operation with over 110 employees across India, selling nearly one million stoves and generating approximately $12 million in revenues. Today, Greenway’s efforts encompass a full value chain of activities, ranging from design and manufacturing, to sales and consumer finance. “Greenway now exemplifies the “business for good” approach,” says Juneja. “In our experience, deep, meaningful engagement with the communities we aim to sell to is critical to scale and success.”
Recognizing the barriers that many women face when looking to enter the workforce, Juneja puts a strong emphasis on promoting women’s economic empowerment and strives to work primarily with women distributors. Throughout the last few years, Juneja and Greenway’s dedication to accelerating economic opportunities for women in India has resulted in nearly 400 women employed as re-sellers, promoting stoves and earning incomes from their sales.
In addition to her roles as Founder and CEO, Juneja also serves as a mentor, educator, and role model for women in her community, particularly rising women entrepreneurs.
“Through her dynamic leadership, Neha has grown her business from a team of three to now over 110 employees and has established an investment-ready enterprise. Neha’s perseverance and tenacity, alongside a visionary spirit, is why we are celebrating here today,” said Dymphna van der Lans, CEO of the Clean Cooking Alliance, while presenting the award at the Clean Cooking Forum 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.
“I am Greenway’s first employee and a first-hand witness to Greenway’s journey,” says Shoeb Kazi, Vice President of Finance at Greenway. “I am hugely optimistic about [Greenway’s] future and mark on the world… Neha is an outspoken advocate on women’s rights in the workplace and at home, and has been recognized as one of the most powerful women in business.”
“I see empathy and courage for action as critical qualities to lead an organization that aims to bring change in the status quo,” says Juneja. “It’s 2019 and we’ve fired away to Mars successfully, let’s be courageous enough also to fix the fires in our kitchens.”
The Alliance presented Juneja with the 2019 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Clean Cooking Forum 2019, which was held on November 5-7 in Nairobi, Kenya. The Alliance also proudly acknowledges the ongoing work and leadership of the many women leaders in the clean cooking sector, as well as those working toward energy access for all.
To learn more about Greenway Appliances, visit www.GreenwayAppliances.com.