SELCO Labs announces sustainable energy challenge

Earlier today, I read a tweet from SELCO’s official account that talked about a sustainability energy challenge launched under the umbrella of SELCO Labs. SELCO Labs, the innovation and incubation arm of SELCO started in April 2009 and is hosted inside the premises of SDM Institute of Technology, Ujire, Karnataka. The most interesting and revealing aspect …

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Observations from a farmer cooperative AGM

[Editor’s Note: Earlier this month I was invited by Dr. Trilochan Sastry to attend the Anantpur Cooperative Federation Annual General Meeting (AGM). The meeting, held at the cooperative-owned groundnut processing mill in Gutturu village of Anantpur district (Andhra Pradesh), was both educational and inspirational. The meeting lasted nearly 3 hours and ended with a sumptuous lunch for everyone. …

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Taking greed off the table

In a recent Business Standard article, How Janalakshi got to the top, the following quote from its chairman Ramesh Ramanathan caught my attention. “As a student of institutions, I learnt that the market was a double-edged sword,” says Ramanathan. When contemplating a structure for Janalakshmi, he wondered what would happen if he “took greed off …

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List of Social Enterprises in Bangalore

This list has been on my todo list for a while 🙂 but a glance at the search query logs last month told me that an incomplete list (sooner) might be better than a perfect list (later). It will also be revealing as to how many of the Bangalore enterprises I’ve actually written about (Hint: …

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Villgro launches high-touch training program for social entrepreneurs

Villgro, Chennai-based incubator and seed impact investor, announces the launch of a high-touch mentorship and training program (called SEED) for social entrepreneurs. They have crafted a 6-month program to address several complaints they’ve heard from entrepreneurs who’ve attended similar programs. The cohort size (at 10) is designed to be small, keeping in mind their key …

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Is Rangsutra the only recent Social Enterprise exit?

Put an impact investor on a panel at a social enterprise conference and you can be assured of at least two quotes. “There just aren’t enough quality social entrepreneurs” “The problem with the social enterprise ecosystem is that there are no exits” Social entrepreneurs (on similar panel discussions) would counter point #1 with “there just …

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Samhita Academy: trailblazing the RTE path years before it became a law

[Editor’s Note: Back in October, 2011 I visited the campus of an innovative Bangalore school (Samhita Academy) and learnt about Samhita’s unique model from Aparna Goenka. Aparna (Infosys alumnus) is trustee and Director at Samhita Academy runs the Advaith Foundation’s Ankur program – responsible for running a resident hostel for 20% of the children from poor families. …

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Ford Foundation supported Farmers Cooperative seeks Head of Marketing

[Editor’s Note: Last week I was invited by Dr. Trilochan Sastry to attend the Anantpur Cooperative Federation Annual General Meeting. The meeting, held at the cooperative-owned groundnut processing mill in Gutturu (Andhra Pradesh), was inspirational and provided valuable insights into how a cooperative can have a big impact on the lives of small plot farmers in drought-prone regions. …

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Two bright lights in India’s Impact Investing Landscape

The two bright lights in India’s impact investing landscape are Harish Hande’s $10 million fund for sustainable energy enterprises and Khosla Impact. Sustainable Energy Fund Last month I finally got a chance to spend some time with Harish Hande at the SELCO office in JP Nagar, Bangalore. Our conversation ranged from ‘SELCO culture’ and non-English …

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