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Transforming India Initiative fellowship aims to train budding social entrepreneurs

Vallabh Rao
21st Feb 2018
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The key principle that the Transforming India Initiative fellowship is built on is the experiential learning approach. Fellows spend 75 percent of their time on the ground, working with entrepreneurs, solving real life entrepreneurial challenges. 

The Transforming India Initiative - fellowship is a two-year programme that seeks to equip fellows to establish enterprises that will solve the most pressing challenges. It is an initiative of the Hyderabad-based social enterprise Access Livelihoods Consulting, and is supported by Niti Aayog's Atal Innovation Mission.

Transforming India Initiative - fellowship was launched in 2017 after an year of research and study. The 2017-19 batch of fellows will be the first to graduate, and set up their own enterprises. The first batch has 10 aspiring social entrepreneurs looking to build enterprises across the development sector - education, livelihoods, sanitation, waste management, agriculture, micro-finance and others.

The pioneering cohort comes from across the country and is aged between 21 to 29 years. The participants come from the diverse backgrounds of engineering, commerce, rural management, human resources, microbiology, and others. 

ALC India was founded in 2005 by GV Krishna Gopal and G Satyadev, batchmates at the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA). It strives to find effective ways to solve persistent problems in the livelihoods of economically marginalised communities and has been working across 17 states in India over the last decade. ALC has created and tested new livelihood models that transform producers' lives, and make them more self-reliant. 

Through its beehive model to build producer enterprises, ALC has partnered with over 25,000 farmers, weavers and tribals to build 14 producer companies in four states of India. 

Transforming India Initiative aims to help an individual transform from a job seeker to an entrepreneur for a cause. 

The two years comprise of: 

• A six-month facilitated learning where practitioners engage the fellows in their area of expertise. To highlight a few, Caspian Impact Fund drives the curriculum on Accounts and Finance, Inner Engineering is facilitated by Manoj Pavitran, Founder of Swadharma and Kalyani Kandula, an independent environmental consultant leads the course on Environment and Material Consciousness.

• And an 18-month practicum where fellows are placed in established social enterprises, working directly with CEOs or founders and helping enterprises accelerate their growth. Supported by experienced peer mentors, in the process, the fellows learn to establish and run their own enterprises.

• Simultaneously during the practicum, fellows work on their own business model and solutions along with the support of a peer mentor

Post the two-year fellowship, fellows will receive six years of integrated incubation support to ensure their enterprises sustain and thrive. 

The initial six month facilitated learning component is conducted in Hyderabad and fellows are placed in different rural/urban/semi-rural locations during the 18-month practicum. The placement location is dependent on the enterprise where the fellow will be placed.

Fees for the entire programme are Rs 6,90,500 - which includes programme cost, accommodation, food and logistics costs for the entire two-years. It also includes a contribution to the alumni fund that can be accessed by fellows who are in need of funds after the completion of the programme.

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