Tata Social Enterprise Challenge kicks off to find India’s most promising early-stage social enterprises

Kolkata: The Tata group has launched the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2016-17 in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C), to find India’s most promising early-stage social enterprises. This national competition aims at creating an ecosystem for social entrepreneurship and encourage sustainable, scalable and measurable social impact.

In a statement the Tata Group said that teams who either have an early stage venture (not older than three years) or a promising idea with a plan, that can create sustainable social impact in India, can submit their business plans online, by logging onto www.tatasechallenge.org . Impact proposals (detailed business plans) are invited in the areas of agriculture, food and dairy, healthcare, water and sanitation, technology and development, education & skills development, housing, handicrafts, energy and microfinance/financial inclusion. The ventures will be judged on three parameters – business model, social impact and sustainability.

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The last day to submit the impact proposal (business plan) online is 11 October 2016. In an innovative way to involve the general public, the challenge also invites the general public to nominate, through the initiative’s website, social enterprises they know who fit the eligibility criteria.

Atul Agrawal, senior vice president, corporate affairs, Tata Services, says, “The Tata Social Enterprise Challenge has become a platform that encourages the incredibly enthusiastic population of our nation to thrive in the space of social entrepreneurship. Growing every year, the initiative has helped bring to the limelight social entrepreneurs, as well as, with expert partners, provided social start-ups an eco-system and mentoring about business techniques and private sector approaches to find solutions to social, cultural or environmental problems.”



Professor Ashok Banerjee, Director, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, says, “This year’s TSEC will be even bigger with encouraging participation of other partners who would like to see social entrepreneurship at its best. We are looking for, in this episode of TSEC, social enterprises who are ready to scale up and create impact at the national level. There are funding opportunities for deserving participants.”

 A part of nation-wide selection procedure, 20 teams will be selected for semi-finals and will be provided up to six weeks of mentorship support, including two days at the IIM Calcutta campus. All teams shortlisted for the semi-finals and finals will have an opportunity to pitch to India’s largest social VCs for seed funding. The teams which make it to the grand finale will be given an opportunity to pitch for incubation at IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. The total prize money is Rs 6 lakh for the top three teams. The semi-finalists will receive travel grants.

Last year winner was  HelpUsGreen®, a Kanpur-based social enterprise, preserves the rivers by flowercycling® the waste from the places of worship into bio-fertilizers and lifestyle products like incense and bathing soaps, among others, and in doing so also empowers women self-help groups.

Jeevtronics, a Pune-based venture, was the first runner-up. Jeevtronics is dedicated to designing and implementing affordable medical devices for underdeveloped and rural areas. The second runner-up position saw a tie between two ventures, Hasiru Dala Innovations from Bengaluru and the student-led venture, Disease Diagnose Group from Boston, USA.

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