Dropping the social in social entrepreneur

About 9 months into my TechSangam blogging journey (that would be circa 2012), I was one of the guest bloggers at the Villgro Unconvention 2011. I recall a discussion where panelists were asked to predict where the social enterprise ecosystem would be in 10 years. You are probably yawning and rolling your eyes. I did too when …

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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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Color of money

A few weeks ago, I attended the two-day Unconvention 2011 – a social enterprise conference hosted by Villgro in Chennai. Nilima Achwal (Villgro Fellow) and I co-authored our conference report on the NextBillion blog – Villgro’s Unconvention 2011 – Key Takeaways. In social enterprise conferences, impact investing topics get a fair bit of air time and …

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Calling bullshit on Forbes’ List of Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs

Normally I don’t pay much attention to Top [X] rankings. Maybe today was a slow news day. Maybe I just returned from Villgro’s Unconvention and am still chewing the cud so am hyper-sensitive on who is(isn’t) a social entrepreneur, what is(isn’t) a social enterprise. Scott Anderson’s article on NextBillion alerted me to this freshly released …

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Impact Investing Landscape in India

When I give my 2-minute elevator pitch about TechSangam to friends or acquaintances, I usually follow-up with the question “Do you know what social enterprises are?” The answer invariably is “No.” The only other term with a lower aided awareness is ‘impact investing’. Heck! I first heard the term during this year’s Sankalp Forum and …

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Grassroutes: A New Model for Rural Tourism

[Editor’s Note: Last week I had an engaging phone conversation with Inir Pinheiro, co-founder of Grassroutes, an innovative rural tourism social enterprise which aims to unveil the hidden India by connecting urban India to rural communities. This post draws extensively from our phone conversation, follow-up email exchanges, and related research.] Try Googling “India village tourism” …

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