In partnership with the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, the Mumbai-based Tata Group has announced the launch of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge, an initiative to support promising social enterprises in India.
Launched with the aim of creating an ecosystem in India for social entrepreneurship that drives sustainable, scalable, and measurable social impact, the challenge invites social entrepreneurs and social enterprises with either an early-stage venture or a promising idea to submit a business plan to the competition. In round one, up to twenty teams will be selected to go through a three-week mentorship program at the IIMC campus, where they will pitch their ideas to a panel comprised of social venture capitalists, social entrepreneurs, and IIMC faculty. From that group, up to ten teams will be invited to pitch their ideas for consideration by IIMC's Incubation Centre, with the top two teams receiving a significant amount of seed funding.
Ventures will be judged on three parameters — business model, social impact, and sustainability. Although applicants need not be Indian nationals, ventures should be aimed at creating social impact in India in one of the following areas: education, health, agriculture, energy, technology, housing, handicrafts, and microfinance, among others. Proposals and nominations will be accepted through January 20.
"IIMC has always encouraged its students to pursue their interest in entrepreneurship in the social sector and take up the role of flag bearers for innovation and entrepreneurship in the country," said Ashok Banerjee, dean of new initiatives and external relations at IIMC. "The institute expects this initiative to serve as an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to engage themselves in socially relevant initiatives and also familiarize themselves with the work that various organizations are doing in the social sector in a sustainable manner."