It was an enlightening two days at the Khemka Forum on Social Entrepreneurship 2010, held at ISB, Hyderabad. Whereas you may hear this for any conference on social entrepreneurship, it is not just what was planned for the event that puts this conference apart from the rest. It was the informal conversations on-stage and off-stage that gave an opportunity for participants to gain develop ideas, make contacts and gain insights into a field which still grapples with questions of relevance (I will come to this point in one of my later posts).
On a personal note, I would have liked a wider range of participants from the social development sector – in terms of issues they work on and regions in India they belong to. There are quite a few issues in the field of social development which are largely uncovered in the conferences – issues like LGBT rights and Animal Welfare come to the top of my mind. Also, in terms of geographical operation, we find less organizations from the Northeast, UP, Bihar, Rajasthan – even though there is no dearth of social entrepreneurs there. I am sure there are social entrepreneurs in Jammu and Kashmir too.
Coming back to the conference, the burning issues of the day were Microfinance, implications of the recent crisis in this sector; social entrepreneurship and the fine balance between practice and research; Renewable Energy, Social enterprises and the dynamics of scaling; and last but not the least, mobile finance – its role in financial inclusion and the challenges. In my following posts, I would be writing in detail about issues discussed. Instead of writing a day-wise report, I would be following an issue-wise approach which allows for better quality of discussions for the readers.