Rory Stear is founder, chairman and CEO of Freeplay Energy, makers of the famous wind-up radio. The company’s technology uses human, solar, and rechargeable energy to power gadgets such as radios, lanterns and mobile phone chargers (check ’em out here).
While watching a programme, QED, from his home in South Africa where the concept of a wind-up radio was being aired, Stear recognised the opportunity – jumped on a plane and within 48 hours had bought the rights to develop the first Freeplay product. Since then, he’s developed Freeplay into a global environmentally-conscious business.
Stear says: “Business must accept its obligation to create affordable energy alternatives for developing markets and become directly involved in the communities in which it operates. This is not just about altruism, or creating passive recipients of philanthropic handouts. Positioning people with no or limited access to electricity as valued customers and engaging them in dialogue about energy needs opens the door to exciting new business initiatives.”