About 650 people from 20 countries gathered in Mumbai on April 12 and 13 for the Sankalp Forum, bringing together all aspects of the inclusive business spectrum from across India. If Sankalp is any indication, the social enterprise sector is growing in size and maturing in terms of the conversation and types of issues facing the industry. While Sankalp offered a host of panels and breakout sessions, many took advantage of having so many relevant stakeholders in one place to make connections and advance their work. Either way, Sankalp was an action packed two days, with several highlights.
Formation of NASE: During Sankalp, leaders of social enterprises gathered to form the by laws of the National Association of Social Enterprises (NASE India), which will take the shape of an industry body that can collaborate, raise awareness, advocate on relevant issues, and network with like-minded social entrepreneurs.
Sankalp Awards: The annual tradition of awards continued, and the following winners were announced:
Agriculture, Food and Rural Business – Vinfinet Technologies, which is an IT firm building technology solutions for agriculture
Clean Energy and Clean Technology – Green India Building Systems and Services (GIBSS) provides products, operations, and maintenance for energy efficiency in buildings
Education – Edusports focuses on physical education for nursery-12 and includes all stakeholders in the process
Health, Water and Sanitation – Eram Scientific combines platform technologies to solve social issues, such as
Technology for Development – Invention Labs/Avaz enables people with cerebral palsy to communicate by converting their muscle movements into speech, and is available in multiple Indian languages
South East Asia – Hapinoy creates a distribution network through “Community Stores” to create the last mile connection
Reports: Following the Forum, Intellecap, the organizer of Sankalp, released relevant publications to advance knowledge and insight about the sector. “On the Path to Sustainability and Scale: A Study of India’s Social Enterprise Landscape” focuses on the for-profit social enterprise landscape in India. “Understanding Human Resources Challenge” focuses on the specific issue of finding and retaining talent, which an Intellecap survey revealed to be the number one issue facing social enterprises.
The Sankalp Forum offers a little something for everyone – for the experienced social enterprise player, an easier way to meet and connect; for the novice, useful sessions to learn more, and for the industry at large, the space to collaborate and exchange views, ideas, and experiences.