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Opportunity For Socially Relevant MSMEs to Access Funding and Capacity Building

Sankalp Forum opens applications for Sankalp Awards 2012 (India and South East Asia), finalist MSMEs to get access to funding and capacity building.

Sankalp Forum, a global platform for social enterprises, announced that it is now accepting applications for the Sankalp 2012 Awards. The awards will recognize emerging enterprises across 6 categories, including the newly launched South East Asia Award for the most innovative social enterprise in the region. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with a social impact focus, also known as ‘social enterprises’ are encouraged to apply in order to access finance and capacity building services. An initiative by the social advisory firm Intellecap, Sankalp Forum has connected over 400 enterprises and over 400 investors in the last three years.

Social enterprises aim to provide high quality yet affordable goods and services like healthcare, education, and financial services to the poor, thus creating social benefits while making a profit. Investors are increasingly backing these and using a new strategy called ‘impact investing’, that expects monetary as well as social returns. The profit opportunity for such businesses is estimated to be over INR 32 lac crores* over the next decade. As a clear validation of the power of social innovation these enterprises have, the Government of India announced an INR 1000 crore National Innovation Fund to support such ideas.

“With some amount of social as well as mainstream funding available for social enterprises, the key game changer is identifying and exposing the best entrepreneurs to these opportunities, and preparing them to take on the challenge of scale. This is the need gap that Sankalp Forum looks to fill through its annual awards. We’re especially excited about our South East Asia award, which is the first of its kind for the region.”, said K Sree Kumar, CEO of Intellecap.

The Sankalp Awards attract applications from the most innovative, scalable and sustainable enterprises across India. The applicants are then put through a vigorous jury process. In the past Sankalp jury members have included stalwarts like PrakashBakshi, Chairman -NABARD, VipulMankad, President – SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd. and Mohanjit Jolly, Managing Director – DFJ India . In 2012, the finalists will be supported through an intensive capacity building program, including a  residentialbootcamp. They will then be invited to pitch their ideas to investors at the annual Sankalp Summit from April 11 to 13, 2012 in Mumbai, which will have over 100 investors in attendance.

In a testament to its efficacy, in the past 3 years alone, over 25 Sankalp Award finalists have received investment. In fact, FINO and eHealthpoint, winners of the Sankalp Awards 2011 received investments from Blackstone Group and Fontus Water respectively, shortly after winning the award. Additionally, enterprises nominated for the Sankalp Awards also gain preferred access to other platforms. AshwinNaik, CEO Vaatsalya Healthcare, said “If you are an enterpreneur in the social space, don’t miss the sankalp conference. Sankalp is the world economic forum for social enterprises”. Vaatsalya won the Sankalp Award in 2009, and in June this year received a third round of funding from Aquarius India and Seedfund.

Enterprises that meet the Sankalp Awards 2012 criteria are encouraged to apply before 30th November 2011. For more details, please visit

*According to a recent report by JP Morgan.

About Sankalp Forum 

The Sankalp Forum is holistic ecosystem designed to catalyze impact investments into sustainable and scalable social enterprises globally. Our mission is to create an enabling platform that supports socially relevant small and medium enterprises. We provide year-round access to investment opportunities, capacity building, knowledge and crucial networks. We connect over 400 social enterprises, over 400 investors and funders, and 10,000 other stakeholders from across the world. In the past three years, more than two dozen of our enterprises have received investments, and over 160 others have been made investment ready through mentoring and capacity building programs.

Sankalp Forum in an initiative by Intellecap, a social advisory firm that works in underserved markets.

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About Intellecap

Intellecap is a global advisory firm. We provide intellectual capital to catalyze businesses with positive social and environmental impacts and outcomes.

Intellecap offers Investment Banking and Business Consulting to clients positioned at the intersection of inclusive and mainstream sectors, including agriculture, food and rural business; clean energy; education; financial inclusion; healthcare and technology for development. We build sector knowledge and nurture networks through thought leading forums, publications and content management services. We also initiate and lead solutions to development issues and incubate new development ideas and innovations.

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ISB iDIYA and SANKALP Join Hands

Sankalp 2012 partners with the 3rd ISB iDiya Challenge, a competition that aims to be a launchpad for high impact, self-sustaining social businesses in India. Initiated in 2009, iDiya exclusively targets working professionals and focuses on business ideas that create a measurable social impact.

iDiya is ISB’s nationwide Social Business Ideas Competition and has this year again partnered with the Sankalp Forum to jointly recognize and award some of the most sustainable and scalable social businesses in the country. » Continue reading “ISB iDIYA and SANKALP Join Hands”

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World Bank and World Health Organization Release Report on Disability

Last week, the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO) released the first-ever World Report on Disability – the first comprehensive look at global disability in 40 years. The report estimates that more than one billion people are living with some form of a disability.

The report, which took more than three years to produce, looks at “measures to improve accessibility and equality of opportunity; promoting participation and inclusion; and increasing respect for the autonomy and dignity of persons with disabilities.” Almost 380 contributors wrote for the report, and WHO expects it will be valid until 2021. » Continue reading “World Bank and World Health Organization Release Report on Disability”

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Technology for the Masses

This story originally appeared in our April 21, 2011 e-magazine. Click here to subscribe.

Artoo’s founder talks about how to reduce microfinance interest rates by reducing operating costs not profits.

By Sameer Segal

We often wonder why the world’s most intuitive technology isn’t available to the masses. Why aren’t iPhone like interfaces available to low-income first-time technology users? Why isn’t enterprise software as slick and easy-to-use as Facebook?

Just like how business models aimed at the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) have to be truly innovative to achieve any success, technology supporting such businesses needs to be completely re-imagined, too. The innovation need not lie in any single element of technology, but the success will definitely depend on how various elements are strung together. I personally believe that consumer electronics is going to play a big role in determining the success of any solution. » Continue reading “Technology for the Masses”

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The World’s Top 40 Development Innovators : Local, Tech Savvy May Be Key to Improving Aid

This post is part of our ongoing partnership with GOOD Magazine. Post by Alex Goldmark.

It’s not easy solving poverty, reducing global child mortality or achieving pretty much any of work international aid workers take on every day. Look at our lagging progress with the Millennium Development Goals for evidence of how much work lay ahead.

So what’s to be done? Who’s getting it right? Where’s hope to be found? » Continue reading “The World’s Top 40 Development Innovators : Local, Tech Savvy May Be Key to Improving Aid”

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ANDE Releases Impact Report

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) released its second annual Impact Report earlier this week. The report includes information about the network’s 110 members in 150 emerging and developing countries. Because of ANDE’s large reach, the report effectively serves as a snapshot of the small and growing business (SGB) sector.

ANDE defines an SGB as a “commercially viable businesses with 5-250 employees that have significant growth potential and a management desire for growth.” Over the past 10 years, ANDE members have deployed US$902 million (INR 40.3 billion) in capital, provided US$176.8 million (INR 7.8 billion) in capacity development and supported 11,100 SGBs. » Continue reading “ANDE Releases Impact Report”

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A Note From Beyond Profit

Dear Reader,

It has come to the attention of the Beyond Profit editorial team that the editor’s letters in issues 11 and 12 incorporated paragraphs published in other sources without attribution. Beyond Profit regrets this breach of journalistic standards. Appropriate actions have been taken. We would like to reassure our readership that our content writers will continue to maintain the utmost journalistic ethics.

Editorial Team

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Defining Poverty

Once upon a time, not too long ago, India defined poverty in caloric terms: 2,400 calories in rural areas and 2,100 calories in urban areas. However, out of context, these numbers are grossly misleading: in the U.S., the 2,000-calorie daily diet is touted as healthy for the average American. In caloric terms, then, a majority of Americans are poor. Using nutrition as the framework by which to define poverty is strangely one-dimensional.

In a article, Himanshu writes about India’s struggle with defining and measuring poverty. For the years 2004-2005, there are several estimates: the Lakdawala committee says 26%, the Suresh Tendulkar committee says 37%, the World Bank says 42%, the Arjun Sengupta committee says 77% and Utsa Patnaik says approximately 80%.  As if the huge disparities in these numbers weren’t shocking enough, all these sources are using the same distribution of consumption expenditure figures from the National Sample Survey Organization. India’s Planning Commission has taken steps to alleviate the confusion surrounding the breadth of poverty statistics by accepting the Tendulkar committee’s report and requesting that the committee revise poverty estimates. » Continue reading “Defining Poverty”

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World Cup o’ Shame

The Cricket World Cup is upon us. In just under three weeks, cricket fans around the world will be glued to their televisions and PDAs, keeping abreast of the latest stats in one of the most beloved sports in the world.

According to a BBC News article, one of the host countries, Bangladesh, will be preparing for all the sports fanfare coming their way by putting a plug in one of their serious urban problems: begging. There are approximately 700,000 beggars in Bangladesh. It is reported that the city of Chittagong will pay beggars to keep them off the streets during the World Cup games. “We have taken the initiative to rehabilitate the beggars and we are going to expedite it ahead of the Cricket World Cup so that they do not disturb the tourists and spectators,” says Chittagong Mayor Mansur Alam. Three hundred disabled beggars will receive a daily wage of US$2 (INR 90) per day for three months to compensate for loss of earnings. » Continue reading “World Cup o’ Shame”

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The New World Order

New research conducted by a Stanford research team concludes that with current available technology, the whole world could switch to 100% of its energy needs from renewable sources within 40 years. How can this be done? By ensuring all new energy production plants use renewable energy by 2030 and converting older plants by 2050. Everything would then run off of electricity: 90% of energy production would come from wind and solar energy, while 10% would come from hydro, geothermal and tidal power sources. In this brave new world, planes, trains and automobiles would run on hydrogen fuel. » Continue reading “The New World Order”

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