Rouwenna AltemosePart-Time Social Impact MBA Co-Founder, All in Energy
“All In Energy was created to allow everyone to participate in the clean energy economy, even if you don’t own a home, speak English as your first language, or have many financial resources,” says Rouwenna.
For Rouwenna Altemose, it was never a question of whether or not she would change the world—it was only a matter of how. “Growing up in Kentucky, I was acutely aware that poverty and pollution are connected,” she says. “In college, I realized the problems I saw in the world, from wars and poverty to racism and sexism, would all be exacerbated by climate degradation.”
That’s when she decided to dedicate her career to fighting climate change, and did just for almost a decade before enrolling in Questrom’s Social Impact MBA program. While at BU, Rouwenna’s career took an unexpected turn when the board of directors of the nonprofit where she worked decided suddenly to shift the organization’s strategy. As a result, she and her whole team lost their jobs. But, Rouwenna didn’t let this stop her. Through connections made at BU, she found her next calling.
Three-quarters of the way through the part-time MBA program, Rouwenna co-created her own nonprofit organization, focused on accelerating an inclusive clean energy economy. “I’ve seen how some communities, often wealthier, whiter communities, have the resources to adopt climate solutions, while others, often lower income, communities of color, have been left behind. This inequity infuriates me, so I decided to try to change it.”
Rouwenna had already earned a certificate in non-profit management and leadership from BU’s Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership when she enrolled in the Social Impact MBA program. When she and her co-founder won a spot in BU’s competitive early-stage startup accelerator program at Innovate@BU, their idea for the new organization took off.
“All In Energy was created to allow everyone to participate in the clean energy economy, even if you don’t own a home, speak English as your first language, or have many financial resources,” says Rouwenna. The organization was based on the belief that she could accelerate an inclusive clean energy economy, while also addressing inequities in access to state energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, the lack of diversity in the renewable energy workforce, and the climate crisis.
While she took classes and worked on launching her nonprofit, Rouwenna also served as interim program director of business ventures at Innovate@BU. Before that, she was national program director at the Alliance for Climate Education and worked for the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Thanks to the strategies and skills she honed in the Social Impact program, Rouwenna’s new venture is accomplishing multiple goals at once—providing clean energy jobs for underserved workers in Massachusetts and helping residents save money on their utility bills through energy efficiency and renewable energy, while also saving the environment. All In Energy is just three years old, but is already working with eight communities in Massachusetts. It’s serving families in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and has launched the clean energy careers of 20 individuals. Rouwenna is changing the world – one individual and community at a time.