Saturday, December 10, 2011

4th National Conference on Social Entrepreneurship @ XLRI (Jan 27-29, 2012)

Dear friends,

I am happy to inform you that we are organizing the 4th National Conference on Social Entrepreneurship at XLRI Jamshedpur (India) during Jan 27-29, 2012.

During last few years, rural sector has not only opened up immense possibilities for entrepreneurship, but has also sprouted many innovative social entrepreneurial models. Moreover, rejuvenation of rural landscape and livelihoods is also emerging a significant national priority. Even government schemes, e.g., National Rural Livelihood Mission, National Rural Health Mission, Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellowship scheme, etc. envisage a significant role of social entrepreneurs in rural revival.

Correspondingly, this year, the conference theme – Entrepreneurship for Rural Revival - aims to create a platform to explore the opportunities and challenges for social ventures in rural sector.

The conference design will entail the following panel sessions, where social entrepreneurs/ development sector professionals will share their experiences, issues and challenges:

·         Rural Revival: Opportunities & Challenges
·         Technology, Development & Inclusion
·         Models of Sustainable Farming
·         Solutions for Rural Healthcare
·         Innovations in Rural Revitalization
·         Emerging Rural Ventures – A Showcase
·         Creating Markets for Rural Producers
·         Building Self-Reliant Rural Communities

More information about the conference is available at:

I am happy to share that the response to our invitations to proposed speakers/ panelists has been quite encouraging.  We are still awaiting more confirmations, and hopefully will have the complete list of speakers ready in a week or so. Like earlier years, we also anticipate a conference community of around 150-170 people.

I am enclosing the Registration Form for the conference for your reference, and will invite you to join us in this event. (The Registration Form can also be downloaded here)

I will also be grateful if you can share this mail with others who may be interested.

With warm regards

Dr Madhukar Shukla
Chairperson, Fr Arrupe Centre for Ecology and Sustainability (FACES)
Coordinator – 4th National Conference on Social Entrepreneurship
XLRI School of Business and Human Resources
CH Area (East)
Jamshedpur 831001 (India)
Ph #: 91-657-665 3333 (epbx)/ 91-9431113764

Confirmed Speakers:
(Nov 27th, ‘2011)

Ajay Maniar

Amit Jain

Dhirendra Kumar IFS
Managing Director

Elango Rangaswamy
Panchayat President

Gijs Spoor
Founder & CEO

Dr Joe Madiath
Executive Director

Kirti P Mishra

Mrityunjay Tiwari
Founder-Project Head

Mukti Bosco
Secretary General

Paul Basil
Founder & CEO

Pradeep Ghosh

Pravesh Sharma, IAS
Managing Director

Dr Radha Basu

Sanjeeva Srivastwa

Satyan Mishra
Founder & MD

Stan Thekaekara

Sundara Rajan Sampath
Founder & CEO

Dr Vanita Viswanath
Secretary & CEO

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

THE $300 HOUSE-for-the-POOR


The $300 House was first described in a Harvard Business Review blog post by Vijay Govindarajan and Christian Sarkar. Initially, we just wanted to put the idea out there, but now, due to the tremendous response, we've decided to see how far we can go toward making this idea a reality.
$300 House for the Poor

We started with five simple questions:
  • How can organic, self-built slums be turned into livable housing?
  • What might a house-for-the-poor look like?
  • How can world-class engineering and design capabilities be utilized to solve the problem?
  • What reverse-innovation lessons might be learned by the participants in such a project?
  • How could the poor afford to buy this house?
The goal is to design, build, and deploy a simple dwelling which keeps a family safe from the weather, allows them to sleep at night, and gives them a little bit of dignity. If we can give the poor a chance to live safely and build an inclusive ecosystem of services around them which includes, clean water, sanitation, health services, family planning, education, and micro enterprise, maybe we can start reducing the disease of poverty. By helping create this ecosystem, we believe companies can make money while providing services needed by the poor at an affordable cost. The poor deserve a chance, a real chance, to make it out of poverty.

To do this, we'll bring together people, institutions, and businesses in a "creation space" to:
1) turn this idea a reality, and
2) test it out in the field.
In terms of progress, we've just begun:



We're bringing together three sets of players - the residents of the $300 House, the designers of the house, and the implementers - the organizations (private and public) who will build the "change we want to see."

The residents of the $300 House can be in any part of the world. We're planning to start with a house designed for three specific countries - India, Haiti, and Indonesia.

Dartmouth (through VG) is sending teams of students to India and Haiti to work with groups on the ground to evaluate the prospects, challenges, ecosystem opportunities, community strengths, etc.

The designers will be you and your friends - amateurs, students, and professional designers. We're going to ask you to submit your concepts and ideas in a simple but usable format. Stay tuned for the announcement! We'll choose one or more models or combinations to create the first prototypes for a pilot project in the field. We also invite professional architectural and design firms to step up in this collaborative effort.

The organizations will include non-profits (NGOs), for profit vendors, and of course public organizations - both regional and national governmental agencies. As execution becomes our priority, we'll work with existing, trustworthy organizations to construct/assemble the $300 House in the locations selected. We're also thinking about the building skillsets required and training community members to become a part of this ecosystem - as a way to build a sustainable economic structure.

Once we learn how to do this, the organizations we work with will be able to scale the solution. At that point, we will be prepared to expand to help other countries around the world.

Finally, the lessons we learn from this building process should be applied (we hope) to building the next generation of green housing in the US and the developed world. We see this as a clear reverse innovation opportunity as well.

Let us know if you want to join the project!

Thanks for your interest and support,

Vijay Govindarajan and 
Christian Sarkar
suggestions? contact us:

'one mobile per human being'

Path breaking ideas that will change the world

Access to communication through a mobile phone has changed lives of people in urban, semi-urban, semi-rural and rural areas as well as across all continents and countries. It is universal. It gives them access to livelihoods, health, education, rights, water, electricity, road, house, financial transactions, internet and everything else. Now mobile is also a computer, watch, tv, radio, audio player, movie player, camera, calculator, alarm clock, GPS, internet surfing and everything else put into one. Cellphone manufacturers can easily produce a phone for less than $10, in India you can possibly get IIT to design one that will cost only $1 in mass manufacturing. We only need to provide about 4 billion mobiles for free and it can be done at a cost of $4 billion. Almost every mobile service provider from almost 500+ mobile operators in the world will be happy to chip in to do so as it directly gets them service revenues if they provide free phones. Service providers like Vodafone, Airtel, AT&T etc will buy phones from mobile manufacturers such as Nokia, Siemens, LG etc and provide free lifetime connection and free 3 months of outgoing service. After that user pays for service in pre-paid fashion. Incoming is lifetime free.

Weather forecast can be sent as sms to fishermen along the coast so that they will not go into the sea during bad weather or if they are already in the sea, they can reach the coast quickly. Millions of lives can be saved every year.
A local call on landline costs between Re 1 to Rs. 3. With cellphone, it can be done for 50 paise. For poor people this is huge savings.IncomeFor skilled labour such as plumber, electrician, carpenter, daily wage labour, farm worker, mason, painter etc, a mobile means their customers can easily reach them at any time. This leads to increase in their business and earnings.
Any type of information can be accessed using sms google search. Local business details, prices of crop, items etc in other markets, cities.
Mobile can double up as watch, alarm clock, calculator, radio, audio player, movie player, internet access.
Using banking services of companies like, mobile can act as ATM to deposit or withdraw cash, even take small loans.
Mobile repair, solar mobile charging stations and other livelihood opportunities can be generated in millions if every human being has a mobile.
Govts can send details of welfare schemes, important policy changes, other relevant messages to entire population in an instant.
General news, public service messages, awareness programs, educational and health programs can be sent easily by text messages.
Service Providers
Utility bills for water, electricity, phone, cable tv, dth, Taxes such as property, water, road can be billed and collected easily over mobile phone.
Unique Identification
Each human being can have his/her cell phone # as a unique identifier for the person.
Air, train, bus tickets, products, services can be purchased using m-commerce. Banking transactions can be done.

Benefits to Cellphone operators
4 billion new cellphones @ Rs. 250/$5 per month average service revenue will result into annual revenues of $240 billion.
Benefits to Cellphone manufacturers
4 billion new cellphones @ 10% upgrade or replacement required every year means 400 million new cellphones required every year. @ Rs. 1,000/$20 per cellphone, this will result into $8 billion revenues.
Benefits to World Economy
4 billion new cellphones @ Rs. 500/$10 per month increase in economic activity will result into world GDP increasing by $480 billion.

If you have old mobile, used cell phone, discarded cellphones that you are not using, please donate them to us for this project. If you want to donate new phones for this project, please make a donation of $10 or Rs. 500 per phone you want to donate. Contact us at

Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October 16-18, 2012

NESsT has been selected to host the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October 16-18, 2012. The SEWF is the premiere global event focused exclusively on social enterprise and on building global awareness of the effectiveness of social enterprise in solving critical social problems. The SEWF 2012 will attract over 1000 global and Brazilian participants from social enterprises, foundations and trusts, private investment firms, as well as business and government leaders.

The annual SEWF was established in 2008 by an international steering group comprised of leading social enterprise support organizations from around the world. The primary purpose of SEWF is to assemble social enterprise leaders and champions from all continents to collaborate, share best practices, and to catalyze the social enterprise movement in the host country. The inaugural SEWF was held in 2008 in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has since traveled to Melbourne, Australia (2009), San Francisco, California (2009), and Johannesburg, South Africa (2010).

The SEWF 2012 will focus on the theme of "Social Enterprise: Investing for Impact" with an emphasis impact investing. Impact investing is an asset class on the rise globally. Investors are increasingly seeking opportunities to place their capital in businesses "that can harness the positive power of enterprise," generating both positive financial returns and social benefits for the community. The SEWF2012 will emphasize strategies for attracting new investment capital for social enterprise from private and public sources, particularly in emerging market countries. The SEWF 2012 will explore global efforts to develop a social capital market to support social enterprises at their various stages of development and with varied sources and types of financing from grants, loans, equity, social bonds, and the emerging social stock exchange.

"The SEWF corresponds with the 15th anniversary of NESsT's founding in 1997 and is a tremendous opportunity to raise the profile of social enterprise and impact investing in Brazil as well as across Latin America," says NESsT co-Founder & CEO, Nicole Etchart.

NESsT has selected a social enterprise venue to host the SEWF 2012. The Centro Cultural Ação da Cidadania is operated by Ação da Cidadania, a leading Brazilian community organization dedicated to overcoming hunger and poverty. The Centro is located in Rio's waterfront port area, designated for redevelopment in anticipation of the World Cup and Olympics in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
Additional highlights of the SEWF 2012 in Rio will include:
  • keynote addresses from high-profile public officials, private investors and social enterprise pioneers from Brazil and around the world
  • 10 tracks including engaging panels and workshops with speakers and panelists from leading social enterprises and investors
  • Social Enterprise Marketplace and exhibition for social enterprises and service providers in Brazil and globally to display their products and services
  • Investor Day to introduce private and public investors to social enterprise and impact investing
  • Social Enterpise Awards Gala recognizing excellence in social enterprise
  • Social Enterprise "Pitching" Place: for social enterprises to present their business plans to experts & investors for advice & feedback
  • Social Enterprise Workshops: ongoing "how-to" skills-building workshops
  • Social enterprise site visits and study tour in/around Rio and to Bahia to showcase unique social enterprise models in Brazil
  • World Café space to network with colleagues, investors, and new friends
  • Live entertainment, cultural activities and exhibits highlighting the cultural vibrancy of Brazil.
Online registration for the SEWF 2012 will open on November 15th at For information on SEWF2012, contact us at

Monday, August 15, 2011

Applications open for iDiya: ISB's National Social Venture Competition

The applications for iDiya: ISB's National Social Venture Competition are open!

When you have a business idea
what’s the best you can do with it?

Mobile: 077998 89270

Business ideas make money when you execute them well. Here is your chance to make money at the onset of believing in the idea itself. It is my pleasure to introduce iDiya – Indian School of Business’ (ISB) Social Ventures Ideas Competition.

The 3rd iDiya Challenge is awaiting for you to submit a winning Social Entrepreneurship idea and claim the coveted cash prize of Rs. 3 lakhs.

What’s more?
Besides giving you a platform to showcase your idea, participating will also help you identify possible avenues for ensuring your vision takes shape.  Other benefits of participating include:
•         A one week ‘boot-camp’ for the top ten teams where you will meet industry leaders, VCs and mentors
•         Winners will receive at least 10-weeks mentoring support after the competition.  The mentoring board comprises of high-profile businessmen and organisations who will help you commercialise your idea
•         Top 20 ideas will be showcased on the ISB iDiya website

Who can participate?
iDiya is open to working professionals and early stage NGOs.  It is focussed on ventures creating powerful social impact in India.  Our aim is to stimulate, develop and facilitate high-impact, self-sustaining and scalable social enterprises in India.

Important Dates
•         Registration and submission deadline: September 1, 2011
•         Declaration of winners: November 5, 2011
•         Boot-camp at ISB: December 2-7, 2011

Sunday, August 07, 2011

India's premier Business Plan Competition for Social Entrepreneurs is here !!!

India's premier Business Plan Competition
for Social Entrepreneurs is here!
Wantrapreneur 2011 - India's largest Social Business Plan Competition invites applications from start-up and early growth enterprises with market based solutions. Enterprises with a focus in agriculture stand a chance to win special rewards.
Be the Change.
Last date for application Sep. 30, 2011
Cash Prizes up to
10 Lakhs | Media Exposure | An opportunity to pitch your idea to Investors | 1 on 1 Mentoring
Online Media Partner
Technology Sponsor
Event Partner
Outreach Partner

Villgro Innovations Foundation
III Floor, IIT Madras Research Park Building, Kanagam Road, Taramani, (Behind TIDEL Park), Chennai – 600 113
Mob: +91-8144308874  E:

Saturday, August 06, 2011

NASSCOM Social Innovation Honours 2012

Spark your innovation with NASSCOM Foundation’s 4th edition of the NASSCOM Social Innovation Honours
NASSCOM Foundation, in association with Genpact opens entries for India’s most impactful social enterprise projects, using technology to solve India’s social and environmental issues.
The awards aim to showcase projects that demonstrate best practices in using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for social transformation. Entries for the countrywide competition are now open, and with some phenomenal projects having been showcased over the past years, NASSCOM Foundation is expecting to identify path breaking projects to be a part of this awards cycle.
If you think your ‘innovative project’ stands a chance to get this award, this is the time to prove it. Applications are invited from ICT led social innovation projects in the following categories:
  • Not-for-profit organization
  • For-profit organization as a business model
  • For- profit organization through corporate social responsibility
  • Government body
  • Individual/Group
  • Student concept
  • Multi-stakeholder partnership
Eligibility criteria for applying for the Honors:
  • Organizations/ Departments of Government / Individuals/ Students applying for the NASSCOM
  • Social Innovation Honours should satisfy the following basic criteria:
  • They should be registered Indian entities, or foreign entities with a registered presence in India. The innovation must benefit India, or a community in India
  • The organization should be in existence in India for a minimum of one year
  • The Project / Initiative should have been in existence at least for one year
  • Students can apply as a concept or an idea
  • More details on eligibility criteria are mentioned on the website.
The application form can be filled online on the Honours website:
LAST DATE to receive the filled application form is September 1st, 2011.
For further queries, write to Sneha Barve on or call on 022 28328518/19