The weekly wrap: The top 10 social entrepreneurship stories from the week that went by


Our weekly wrap brings you the most interesting and engrossing stories from the world of social entrepreneurship. This week contains stories on the Companies Bill and its impact on the social entrepreneurship ecosystem, the role of business and government can help social enterprises, Aavishkaar II raises $94 million and an important question gets asked- why aren’t social enterprises more social?

Enjoy the read.

1) The new Companies Bill brings cheer to the social entrepreneurship sector:

The new The Companies Bill, 2012 was ratified in the Rajya Sabha this week after it was passed in the Lok Sabha eight months back. This brings to the end the last Companies Bill that came into existence in 1956. Now companies with revenues of Rs 500 crore or more, a turnover of Rs 1000 crore or a net profit of Rs. 5 crore will have spend 2 per cent of their profits on CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities. Part of the funds are expected to invested in technology business incubators and social enterprises.

2) Half of Santa Clara’s GSBI accelerator program consists of Indian social enterprises:

Six out of the 12 companies that make up the 2013 cohort of Santa Clara’s accelerator program are Indian social enterprises. They include Husk Power Systems, Kinara Capital, Avani India, Nishant Bioenergy and Spring Health Water.

The GSBI Accelerator (that replaced the former Global Social Benefit Incubator) is a 11-year-old program that helps social entrepreneurs achieve both their business and humanitarian goals, the GSBI by providing support through multiple experienced Silicon Valley mentors.

3) Rang De: how small investments can bring about big smiles:

Bangalore-based Rang De was the first Indian company to offer peer-to-peer lending to individuals and micro entrepreneurs. This is the story of Rang De, and the inspiration behind starting of the company through the eyes of one of its two co-founders, Smita Ramakrishna.

4) Gauri’s journey from escaping ‘cabin suicide’ to forming Skilled Samaritan:

As part of our women entrepreneur series we look at the story of Gauri Agrawal. She had spent two years in an investment before she felt the stresses of corporate life, a condition that she describes as ‘cabin suicide’; she soon quit to form Skilled Samaritan, an organization that helps rural folk build sustainable communities.

5) Aavishkaar II raises $94 million, announces close:

Aavishkaar India II (Aavishkaar II), a venture fund focused towards investing in low-income communities in India closed its fund with a $ 94 million infusion with the lead investments coming from KFW (the German Development Bank), Impact Investment Trust and other institutional investors. The fund achieved its first closing at $ 70 million in September 2011 and invests in sectors like healthcare, water and sanitation, education, renewable energy and agriculture.

6) Infosys’ executive chairman Narayan Murthy calls for technology to be employed to solve India’s healthcare woes:

Not your typical social entrepreneurship story. But IT veteran Murthy’s insistence that the use of technology in solving India’s healthcare problems does resonate, considering India’s struggle with providing quality healthcare to its citizens. Murthy referred to many examples of the use of technology including a hospital in Shivpuri (MP) that uses GPS-enabled ambulances and mobile technology to send follow-ups to families. The initiative, he claimed, has saved 6,000 newborns in a state with the highest infant mortality rate in India.

7) Here’s an important question: why aren’t social enterprise more social?

The Guardian in this article asks a question that is on everybody’s mind. Why don’t social enterprises collaborate more? Collaboration is tough and there aren’t enough design models to get companies to collaborate.

8) How big business can help social enterprise succeed:

Social businesses manage to grow to a certain scale and then find it difficult to grow larger as they don’t have the necessary systems, processes and technical know-how. This is where big businesses can play a role in assisting them in areas that they are lacking.

9) Meet Poonam Ahluwalia, 2013’s India New England Woman of the year:

Ahluwalia is the Executive Director of YouthTrade and the YES Campaign and has made a big contribution to social entrpreneurship. Huffington Post’s Steve Mariotti interviews the inspiring woman.

10) What role can the government play in the world of social entrepreneurship?

Social enterprises and impact investors need to have a very clear understanding of what role the government can play. The Skoll World Forum has partnered with Deloitte to discuss policies, politics, and possibilities for government to accelerate the impact economy in a bi-weekly series published in Forbes.

Here’s video that gives you an introduction to the impact economy.




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