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Can agri-based start-ups transform the rural economy?
Deborah Keller, Can agri-based start-ups transform the rural economy? 04 Jul 2017
Deborah Keller, 04 Jul 2017

An Entrepreneur’s Dilemma: Building the Right Management Team

by Jane Miller

You started your dream business. You have worked for years for a minuscule salary, doing every job possible in the company. You got your best friend to also work for a song because she believed in the product, believed in you and believed that her equity share would be worth something someday. You tapped into every person that you knew who would mentor you for free and attended every networking event to meet that next connection. And you have been having a lot of fun along the way. Sure it has been hard, but you have set the culture and vibe. By the way, you have done this with a few loans from your angel network and as such you are in control of the company’s direction. You are supremely happy that you are not reporting to “the man.”


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Rianta Capital Zurich’s Artha Initiative & Villgro partner to expand funding & incubation support to early-stage social enterprises

At least a half-dozen companies to receive matched equity funding of up to USD $100,000

May 15, 2015: Villgro, India’s oldest and foremost social enterprise incubator, and Switzerland-based impact investor Rianta Capital Zurich, are entering into an exclusive partnership to provide much-needed equity funding and comprehensive post-funding incubation support for early-stage social enterprises in India.


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Food and Beverages

IAP HealthPhone Launches the World’s Largest Digital Mass Education Programme to Focus on Mother and Child Malnutrition

New Delhi, 2 June 2015

The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and the HealthPhone project of The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust (MCHET) today announced the formal launch of the nation-wide IAP HealthPhone pro-gramme, the world's largest digital mass education undertaking to tackle malnutrition in mothers and children.


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Agriculture Products

Aspada invests USD $3.3 Million in EM3 AgriServices

by Kartik Srivatsa

Aspada Investment Company, has made a commitment of INR 20 Crores ($3.3 Million) to Delhi-based EM3 AgriServices Pvt Ltd. EM3 provides a full range on-farm services using modern agricultural machines and technologies, delivered by the company’s own trained personnel on a "pay-for-use" basis. Small farmers are universally unable to afford machines and equipment that can increase yields and productivity. EM3’s goal is to eliminate the need for ownership by providing access to technologies that enhance yields per acre and that have heretofore been affordable to only the largest farmers and landowners. 


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FDI Norms for NRIs Relaxed – Foreign Investments Anticipated

by Sujatha


Change in NRI Investment Policy

Last week, on Thursday, 21 May 2015, the government of India, in what has been termed a major economic decision, agreed to liberalise the country’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms. These norms relate to investments from non-Resident Indians (NRIs), persons of Indian origin (PIOs), and overseas citizens of India (OCIs). “The Cabinet approved amendments to FDI policy on investments by NRIs, PIOs, and OCIs. This will give PIOs and OCIs parity with NRIs in economy and education,” said an official spokesperson referring to the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs which is chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

The proposal to amend these NRI investment norms originated from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) as a result of an increased need for capital inflow from abroad. The committee, which was constituted last year, has arrived on the decision after many months of deliberation.


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Social impact startups about tackling critical HR Challenges

Article from Hina Nainani CIIE @ IIM Ahmedabad

Ask any startup founder to rank their biggest challenges…inevitably human resources will make it to the list. Entrepreneurs around the globe are helping solve big problems like cashless travel & transportation, finding remedies for diseases, building CRM platforms for businesses and a lot more. But, there are a handful who have started ventures that address social challenges– poverty, sanitation, education energy access, healthcare and such other pressing concerns of the day.

So, this time around CIIE spoke to three such entrepreneurs whose enterprises, now on a highly flourishing and growing stage, want to build big businesses but with social impact! We had candid chats with…


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Indian Education Sector an ocean of opportunities

Villgro’s Investment Manager Kavita Rajagopalan explains that the education sector in India is an ocean of opportunities

The education sector in India is a bunch of homogeneous and various private initiatives trying to tackle its efficiency gaps, feels KavitaRajagopalan, Investment Manager, Villgro: “It is certainly a time of great optimism for the education sector in India. The problems within the sector are well-known and have been documented extensively. But, over the last few years, we have been seeing a lot of new and exciting ventures in the space.”

In conversation with Social Story, she explains how there are two main trends, in the education field:enterprises working within the system to deliver content more effectively to students and improve teacher quality;and some innovative, out-of-the-box ideas that could have a transformative impact on the ecosystem. “Both are harnessing technology in really critical ways. Our hope is that all of this will result in improved quality, better learning outcomes, and more opportunities for BoP households,” says Kavita



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Submit your ideas to SOCAP Open


Creative, responsive, exploratory conversations have always been at the heart of the SOCAP experience. The SOCAP Open platform empowers you to shape the conversation and share your insights. We want to know what issues and innovations you think should be featured at SOCAP15. What ideas would YOU bring to the stage? Tell us. Here are four ways you can let us know what you want to see/hear/talk about at SOCAP15:

1) Share: Submit Your Ideas to SOCAP Open

2) Comment: Review Submitted Session Ideas

3) Vote: Vote Up Inspiring Ideas

4) Attend: Get Your Ticket to SOCAP15

Individuals from around the world, diverse in gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, expertise, and perspective, work at the intersection of money and meaning. We want a variety of voices to be heard at the SOCAP conference, including yours. Submit your ideas to SOCAP Open or vote. Let your voice be heard.

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Looking beyond toilets: The need for sustainable sanitation solutions

Article by 

Vaidyanathan Krishnamurthy - Head of Innovation and Implementation, Samhita Social Ventures

Beyond toilets

The Prime Minister’s call for a Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014 has reactivated the demand to provide better health and hygiene to communities. The mission became one of the first big priorities of CSR, after the law came into force, with several companies, foundations and individuals pledging their support to the cause of sanitation. While providing infrastructure and other resources is critical, it is also equally important to practice a holistic approach to implementing such programs.

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Indian social incubator Villgro enters Vietnam

Indian social enterprise incubator Villgro is planning to enter the Vietnamese startup ecosystem, its first country in Southeast Asia, by seeking for partners in nurturing local impact investment.

The fund is expected to finance a social startup with up to $250,000 once it is established.

In an interaction with DEALSTREETASIA, Ngoc Huynh, who is working in Villgro’s initiative to replicate the fund’s model in Vietnam, revealed that the India’s oldest social enterprise incubator will appear in the local market through the franchising model.

Therefore, it is looking for Vietnamese entrepreneurs, who are keen on joining the global Villgro Impact Incubators Network (VIIN), to be directors of its Vietnam unit.

The Indian model offers funding from $10,000 to $250,000 for three stages of a social startup development – including pre-product, pre-revenue and pre-scale stages.

It is also targeting four sectors of education, healthcare, agriculture and energy.


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