Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer...
Training Program to Empower Aspiring Social Entrepreneurs in India
Villgro, an Indian social enterprise engaged in the incubation and funding of rural social innovations, is about to launch a unique one-year training program for social entrepreneurs who did not succeed the first time round. It is a one-of-its-kind attempt to encourage such aspiring social entrepreneurs to return to the drawing board.
Paul Basil, founder and CEO of Villgro, says: "This is not just for people who have ideas. It is for people who have tested their ideas and failed, and who have sufficient learning so that they won't fail again the second time."
The program, SEED, will begin this September. In the past decade, Villgro has incubated rural-oriented ideas ranging from rural BPO to beekeeping, from weather forecasting to arecanut de-husking.
Villgro's financial supporters include the Rockefeller Foundation, the Lemenson Foundation, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Technology Development Board. Villgro is in the process of selecting 10 promising social entrepreneurs for support, who will have three mentors from the world of business. The selected entrepreneurs will go through three modules under the one-year program, which will include training on perfecting their offering, pitching to investors and customer insights.
PR Ganapathy, a mentor of SEED, who at one time worked with the leading IT company in India, Infosys Technologies, says about the program, "In developed countries, there is a good system of building ideas, refining them and building up into a successful social enterprise. But in India, this has been lacking."
The other two mentors who have signed up for the program include Mukesh Sharma, founder of early-stage investment banking firm Vija Capital, and sustainable energy consultant Thomas Pullenkav. The goal of the program is that a social entrepreneur must be ready to raise angel funding by the end of the training. By the end of the program, Villgro also hopes to achieve a total funding of $10 million from investors and foundations in the United States.
Source: The Economic Times
Photo Credit: sxc.hu