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Edition 11 - September 2012

Artha Newsletter
Edition 11 - September 2012
A tremendous opportunity exists today to transform the face of investor / donor engagement with the vast, untapped markets at the base of the pyramid (BOP). The Artha Platform's mission is to help unlock this opportunity.
Table of Contents:

Case studies
Stats of interest
Recent investments
Investment opportunities
Platforms of interest
Tweet Corner

@forbes_india: #FILA2012 And the award for Entrepreneur with Social Impact goes to William Bissell of FabIndia (@FabIndiaNews)

?@WiserEarth: How Can We Deliver Services to Entrepreneurs in Rural India? (Link) #entrepreneur #social

@vortport: #Solar Lamps in India villages. (Link) #sustainability #BoP #energy #entrepreneurship

@cherylwk1: Virginia Tech to Use Solar, Wind Technology to Bring Light to Rural India (Link)

@vimalmahesh: Rural Spending in India Outpaces Urban Consumption. (Link)

@wesconnected: Have you heard about how cool the alum run @mindsfoundation is? They're bringing mental health services to rural India: (Link)

@CCEDNet_RCDEC: Social Investments nascent but growing: Investors in India pumped $600M into the social economy in 2012 (Link)

@Greenlichen1: India Gets its First Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building (Link)

@simplyfreshers: Energy Engineering vacancies at J Technologies India in Chennai, Tamil Nadu - Oct 2012... (Link)

Empowering Adolescent Girls Director
The Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (EAG) organization seeks to address girls' needs with a new, innovative and collaborative approach that leverages a variety of stakeholders and creates a global movement.
Read More (link to CMS Newsletter)

This is an exceptional opportunity for a proven leader, with passion for adolescent girl empowerment. The ideal candidate must have experience in at least one of the following: management consulting, youth/adolescent girls focused non profit, multilateral agency that has worked with youth/adolescent girls, central or local government within EAG policy, a foundation with EAG programs or a manager experienced in creating large programs with interest in this space or, worked with companies that focus on youth customers. This opportunity will leverage thecandidate’s expertise by building a movement for EAG in India engaging various stakeholders including high net worth individuals, funding agencies, government, non profits, corporates and academic institutions. The Director will be responsible for developing a strategic and operational 5- year plan and lead the implementation. He or she will recruit and develop a team focused on delivering the outlined plan with support from Dasra and The Kiawah Trust.

For more information, please click here

Communications Associate- Strategic Philanthropy, Dasra
The communications associate is a crucial role for fostering strong relationships for the organisation, in order to fulfil its mission and ensure vital knowledge and information exchange between key stakeholders. The communications associate will implement the communications plan including Branding, PR, Events and Media.
Read More (link to CMS Newsletter)

The Communications Associate- Strategic Philanthropy will focus on planning and execution of communication strategy for Dasra’s Indian Philanthropy Forum and Advisory Research departments. This will entail building in-depth understanding of the strategic philanthropy space and creating communication campaigns that direct philanthropic attention towards issues and organizations highlighted in Dasra’s research reports. (Read more about the departments at the end of the document)

Key Areas of Responsibility
Develop a thorough understanding of the strategic philanthropy landscape and about the role of different stakeholders in the space. Build in-depth knowledge about issues, organizations, statistics highlighted in Dasra’s research reports so as to develop impactful communication plans to disseminate the reports in online, print, video, outdoor media. 

For more please click here

Maharashtra Agricultural Competitiveness Project
October 5th, 2012
Location: MDC Auditorium, YASHADA, Pune, India

The objective of this “Investors’ Meet” supported by the World Bank/Maharahtra Agricultural Competitivenes Project (MACP)is to inform stakeholders from the private sector about opportunities in agri-marketing in view of the amendments in the Maharashtra Agricultural Produce Market (Dev. & Reg.) Act 1963 (MAPM Act, 1963) pertaining to private markets, contract farming and direct marketing.  Thie event is by invitiation only. For info, please contact:

Social Return on Investment
October 16th, 2012
Location: Thadomal Shahani Engineering College Campus, Mumbai, India

The SROI Network is holding a one day workshop to help funders and growing social purpose organisations learn more about the practical application of Social Return on Investment. The Asia Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) is a marketing partner for this event.   International interest in SROI is growing as an approach to account for and manage the social and environmental impact of an organisation’s work. Over the last couple of years a number of organisations have started to explore SROI in India.
Go to Artha events to

EVPA Annual Conference
November 13th-14th, 2012
Location: Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland

The registration for the 8th EVPA Annual Conference is now open. For access to the programme, pre-conference event, speakers, practical information, news and updates, please visit the EVPA  website
 Go to Artha events tor
Khemka Forum on Social Entrepreneurship Date: December 7th-8th, 2012
Location: Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

Participation in the Khemka Forum is by ‘invitation only’. If you are working in the field and are committed to advancing innovative and sustainable social solutions and would like to attend the Forum, please kindly fill in this online form.  Go to Artha events tor read more...

TiE-Lumis Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards 2012

TiE Delhi NCR has announced the TiE-Lumis Partners Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards to recognise excellence among entrepreneurial companies set up less than five years ago.

TiE Delhi-NCR & Lumis Partners instituted the Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards in 2008 with the vision to recognise outstanding young companies that have the potential to transform into world leading organisations in the near future. The idea has been to create a platform that will seek to promote such companies by combining the TiE network and mentoring support with Lumis Partners’ acumen in providing access to funding and board level coaching.  In its 5th year, TiE's unique initiative aims to uncover some of the most innovative, sustainable and high potential companies.

empowering people. Award
The Siemens Stiftung has initiated a worldwide competition to identify and present appropriate technical solutions for developmental activities. Held to convene low tech innovations that address basic supply problems in developing countries, these innovations should be implemented with  resources at hand in relevant regions. The project also aims to build up a database of inventions that is accessible to actors in developmental cooperation at a later date.

The “empowering people. Award” is addressed to individuals, teams, organisations or enterprises fulfilling certain criteria from any region in the world.

Submitting enterprises should fulfill the following criteria:
  • The enterprise develops solutions or products which have the potential of social impact for people in developing and emerging countries.
  • The enterprise develops solutions or products which are already successfully implemented to improve basic supply in developing or emerging countries.
  • The enterprise has a strong focus on job creation.
  • The enterprise follows values such as fairness, social responsibility and self-sustainability.
  • The enterprise is not a microfinance institution, private equity fund or deposit taking institution. For registration click here.
For registration information, please click here.
The Enterprise Development Corporation (TEDCOR): Leveraging Waste to Create Sustainable Enterprises and Clean Communities
John Houghton established TEDCOR in 1996 after purchasing the waste management company from another entrepreneur who had initially created a township waste removal community project. TEDCOR's business model is based on leveraging local residents as sub-contractors for waste management tenders that the company wins from municipalities. Read more...
Acumen Fund Invests $250K in Avani Bio Energy to Electrify Low Income Households in Rural India
Acumen Fund, a pioneering nonprofit global venture fund addressing poverty across Africa and South Asia, today announced a commitment of $250K debt-equity investment in Avani Bio Energy Pvt. Limited, a growing company that creates pine needle gasification power projects for remote communities in northern India.

Based in Pittoragarh, Uttarakhand, Avani Bio Energy Ltd is part of the non-profit organization AVANI, and creates conservation-based livelihood opportunities by using renewable energy and other technologies to enhance the lives of low-income households in the Kumaon regions. Through its gasification process, Avani Bio Energy converts hazardous pine needles into clean and affordable energy. By feeding electricity into the grid, Avani is enabling villages in the region to increase their electricity access without becoming more reliant on hazardous energy sources such as kerosene.

“Avani’s work in this region has both a powerful human and environmental impact,” said Sachindra Rudra, Director of Acumen Fund India, “forest fires are rampant in the Kumoan region and proliferated by pine needles. Removal of these needles simultaneously reduces the risk of forest fires and provides the rural poor with safer and cleaner energy access.”

Acumen’s investment in Avani will allow the organization to create 20 operational plants within five years, providing reliable electricity for more than 58,000 people and enabling hundreds of households to move from kerosene to pine charcoal. The removal of the surplus pine needles will also reduce forest fires in an area populated by 7,500 farming families. Abhay Garg, an Acumen Fund Portfolio Manager, also joins the Avani Board Acumen Fund’s nominee.

“Energy access in the Himalayan region is a crucial issue right now,” said Rajnish Jain, CEO of Avani Bio Energy, “Pine-needle gasification creates an energy option that has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life for thousands of low-income families, while enhancing the ecosystem.”

For additional information on Acumen Fund and its investment in Avani or in the Energy sector, please visit or contact Keya Madhvani at or Elizabeth Patella at

Welcome to the 11th Artha Newsletter! 
This week a large number of impact investors within the Artha community will be heading to San Francisco to attend SOCAP '12 - where the dominant theme of increasing the flow of capital towards social good will be explored en masse within an audience of over 1500 people. The Artha Platform continues to be one of the main 'tools' for those in the international impact investment community who seek to deploy their capital in the Indian 'impact arena', and our partnerships with Ennovent and other emerging networks, as well as those well-established in-country like i3N, will help us to collectively cultivate and expand upon the seeds sown by gatherings like SOCAP.

Our exciting announcement this month is the formation of Artha Networks, Inc. (ANI), a spin out dedicated to the propagation of our core functionality developed and grown within the Artha Platform. The main goal of this start-up will be to support the launch and licensing of other country 'windows' (alongside India) dedicated to the reduction of transaction costs and increases in efficiency around the impact investment process. Please contact us if you have any questions about this or any suggestions on how we may continue to improve this newsletter, or our Platform.

A New Rainforest Uniting David and Goliath : Why MNCs Like Starbucks Need SMEs to Build Green Supply Chains
Globally, demand for sustainably-sourced products continues to grow at a staggering pace. Last year alone, consumers spent $6.6 billion on fair trade products. Companies from Mars to Wal-Mart to Unilever are responding to this demand by making pledges to source all, or some portions of, their inputs from more sustainable sources.

In order to meet these pledges, companies are changing the very way they do business. “Companies, looking to attract and retain enlightened consumers, are evolving the way they source agricultural products. They are also making new investments to forge value chains that are sustainable in the face of increasingly unpredictable weather and wild swings in food, energy and commodity prices,” observes Liam Brody, the senior vice president of Value Chain Relations at Root Capital. These new, lower-risk value chains frequently rely on SMEs.

Root Capital, a nonprofit social investment fund, is one organization indirectly helping companies meet their growing demand for sustainable products by providing the tools—including loans and financial training—that enable SMEs in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa to access global markets. As better run, more efficient businesses with access to capital, Root Capital clients are able to procure, process, and sell greater volumes while also improving product quality and consistency, and thereby becoming more reliable suppliers. While this helps grow rural prosperity for farm families at the base of agricultural value chains, it also generates economic value by creating more resilient suppliers and lowering costs, which ultimately improves returns for global buyers. Go to original article.

The IRIS Registry: Bringing Metrics to Life for the Impact Sector
Building a formal impact measurement program from scratch can seem daunting. An organization taking the leap to go beyond anecdotes to the formal quantification of social and environmental returns needs plenty of support. The newly-released IRIS (Impact Reporting and Investment Standards) Registry serves as a platform that gives organisations a useful reference for navigating the dizzying array of emerging impact metrics, and ways to present these metrics. The Registry can be accessed here.

The IRIS registry is a platform created by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), a not-for-profit organisation, which since its founding in 2009 has been dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. The Registry functions as a directory that provides transparency into the IRIS metrics regularly in use by various organizations; it also allows users to browse organization profiles by the sector focus, impact goals, and target regions of the listing organization.

The GIIN designed The Registry to serve as a useful reference point, “we want to help funds and managers looking to set up an impact measurement program with a useful resource that can provide them with greater contour and meaning,” explains Kelly McCarthy, IRIS Adoption manager at The GIIN, “we aim to act as a concentrated access point for users to make sense out of the many metrics used in impact investing.”

The launch of the IRIS registry marks an important moment in the broader development of the impact sector. Not only will The Registry serve as a tool for those new to building formal impact measurement programs, but will also serve as a “formal step towards full transparency for impact reporting; this transparency is critical to increasing the credibility of performance measures, which ultimately helps increase investment into the sector,” says Genevieve Edens, Impact Assessment manager at the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE).

Indian Microfinance sees 1st serious consolidation as Intellecash Micro- finance takes controlling stakes in Arohan
The INR 20,000+ Crore Indian Microfinance industry has witnessed contrasting fortunes over the last two years. The new regulatory framework proposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2011 has brought clarity to the sector, and strong advocacy by network institutions such as MFIN has established robust infrastructure for building a responsible and resilient Microfinance sector.

All changes in the sector have indicated the need for scale for Microfinance Institutions. Since March 2011, the sector has seen the return of investor interest with infusion of over INR 650 Cr. While the regulations have provided much-awaited structure and direction to the industry, requirements such as enhanced capital, margin caps, and higher provisioning have underlined the need for economies of scale to sustain business operations and create value.
Signifying a move in the consolidation space, Intellecash Microfinance Network Company (P) Limited, a subsidiary of the Intellecap Group of companies, has taken a majority stake in Arohan Financial Services, a Kolkata-based MFI, and has consolidated the two businesses. IntelleCash has been providing incubation services to fledgling MFIs globally since 2008 and has also created a retail portfolio of its own across low-income states in India.
This consolidation will enhance the equity base of Arohan and allow it to expand its retail presence across Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, and other low income states. The process will strengthen the management team at Arohan with Manoj Nambiar joining its Board and taking over as the Managing Director. 
Speaking on the consolidation strategy, Manoj Nambiar, Managing Director and CEO of IntelleCash said, "Intellecash had defined consolidation as a key expansion strategy for its own growth. In Arohan, we found an operationally strong MFI that could be our key vehicle to fulfill our aim of facilitating financial inclusion in low income states. Our belief is that we can add significant value to an excellent Arohan team led by CEO Shubhankar Sengupta and build a formidable microfinance institution focused on low income states."
Established in 2006, Arohan is one of the most respected MFIs in eastern India with a customer base of over 100,000 poor households. Arohan has been very innovative in launching various financial products to cater to different market segments and customer needs. Beyond group loans to women, Arohan has pioneered loans to small vendors, small enterprise loans, distribution of micro-pension products and life insurance distribution. In 2010, Arohan was adjudged the 'MFI of the Year' and the 'Most Transparent MFI' in different prestigious industry events.
Shubhankar Sengupta, CEO of Arohan adds, "We are very happy with the consolidation as this transaction not only gives the company a strong equity base much needed for our future growth, but also deepens our management capacity. Post consolidation we will have a strong equity base and portfolio spread across 3 states - Bihar, West Bengal and Assam. It is a perfect launch pad to achieve our aim of reaching a portfolio size of INR 100Cr by Mar 2013 and working towards crossing INR 1000 Crin the next 5 years."
The unique series of back-to-back transactions in IntelleCash and Arohan totaling to over INR 52 Cr was facilitated by Aavishkaar Goodwell II, a fund that has established several investing paradigms in the Indian Microfinance space and has a continuing strategy focused on achieving consolidation in the industry. Commenting on the deal, P Pradeep, Partner of the lead investor Aavishkaar Goodwell said "Aavishkaar Goodwell has always believed that consolidation in the Indian Microfinance sector would create value for all stakeholders with the greatest focus on borrowers. As part of our strategic imperatives we see the IntelleCash and Arohan consolidation as a critical tool to enhance value and it reinforces our belief that consolidation is not only possible in Indian Microfinance, but can also generate value for all stakeholders involved." 
Existing Arohan investors India Financial Inclusion Fund (IFIF) and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation participated with additional investment in Arohan, endorsing the belief in IntelleCash and Arohan teams' abilities, and also in the value of consolidation in the industry.
Sanjib Jha, CFO of the Intellecap Group, who led the transaction said, "Intellecap has anchored several capital raises in the Microfinance industry. However, the current deal signifies a new era for the advisor. As architect of the transaction and key shareholders, we are gratified with the conclusion of the consolidation effort and the creation of a stronger Arohan. We are clearly excited with the potential of the deal and are grateful to be given an opportunity to be part of the next phase of evolution of the industry."

Cherie Blair Foundation Mentoring Program
Many women across Africa, South Asia and the Middle East have the ideas and ambition needed to become successful entrepreneurs, but are held back by barriers such as lack of access to business skills, technology, networks, and finance.  In response, the Cherie Blair Foundation has developed an innovative solution that combines mentoring with technology to offer cross-border support to women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies. Mentoring helps to accelerate the strides they are already making and helps them take their businesses, confidence, and skills to the next level.

Maximpact launches new website to facilitate impact investing
Maximpact is a free online service dedicated to facilitating impact investing worldwide. It is Designed to meet the needs of an increasingly globalised impact investment community. The platform offers a password-protected listing service where all sector players — entrepreneurs, intermediary bodies and investment funds — can exchange information about their deals on a secure digital platform.

Their initial goals are to increase deal-flow, raise deal quality and improve liquidity by providing a site where deal information can be shared safely, at no charge. Registered users can list investment opportunities of any size, at any stage of development and in a broad range of sectors. They can specify their “ask”: funding, partnership, collaboration, development. They can browse deals listed by other users and sign up for automatic alerts when deals of interest to them come up.
Site founder and private investor Tom Holland explains: “The idea is to encourage the openness and transparency that will lead to more impact investments actually being made. People are doing good things out there, but too often they’re working in silos. We’re basically using technology to break down barriers and help all the different parts of the community connect no matter where they are, no matter what sector they’re working in.”
With its listing service running, Maximpact is preparing to expand its offer, rolling out a range of enhancements, products and services to help impact investors achieve their goals. A searchable database of active and historical deals, a personalized deal-management system, a blog, case studies, and collaborative research projects are being planned.

S3IDF is joining SELCO on a new initiative, SELCO Incubation Centre, to nurture and empower the next generation of sustainable energy entrepreneurs to deliver energy solutions to low-income communities in India.

The SELCO Incubation Centre will leverage S3IDF’s and SELCO’s shared resources, management expertise, intellectual capital, and combined 25 years of on-the-ground learning in India to expand access to vital energy services by:
? Replicating decentralized business models and processes
? Providing mentorship in social enterprise management and business planning support
? Assisting in developing the enabling conditions to support delivery of energy services
? Enabling access to seed and later stage capital
? Establishing a platform for networking, sharing of best practices, common sourcing, etc
To learn more, visit the SELCO Incubation Centre website.

NOGAYA Women's Collective, a social enterprise with the unique agenda of serving as the missing link for all the NGO programs that train disadvantaged women into an artisan trade. Most of these projects do not come to fruition and do not allow the women to come out of poverty through their work because of lack of marketability.  Many years of efforts and funding are thus not maximizsed.
Sporadically, here and there, an individual or organisation invests efforts in support and promotion them, but until now, no international platform has been built in a systematic way.
Please see the Artha pipeline for more information...

Promethean Power Systems  
Promethean Power Systems designs and manufactures rural refrigeration systems for commercial cold-storage applications in off-grid and partially electrified areas of developing countries. Their technology enables food suppliers to reliably store and preserve perishable food items—such as milk, fruits and vegetables—without the need for expensive diesel-powered generators. Please see the Artha pipeline for more information...

Educate Girls
They developed a comprehensive model that leverages existing resources from the government, village and school levels and creates community ownership for school reform. They ensure that teachers, the government, parents, and even girls become active participants in the process and operate independently in school governance even after the withdrawal of Educate Girls. Please see the Artha pipeline for more information...

$4 billion planned for investment in social enterprise in 2012
According to a global impact investment market study by JP Morgan and the Global Impact Investment Network (GIIN), investors see the social enterprise as a market 'in its infancy and growing' with almost $ 4 billion planned for investment in 2012. Over the last eight years $600 million has been invested in social enterprises in India itself. The Monitor Institute estimates that over the next five to ten years impact investments will grow to 1 percent of global assets under management, emerging as a new asset class. 

This development extends to India where impact investing is noted as a key trend in a recent GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit), the German development agency's study on the trends for responsible finance and challenges in the country conducted by Ernst and Young. For the purposes of this study, social enterprises are defined as for-profit entities, committed to social impact as part of their mission with a focus on delivering products and services in critical-needs sectors to consumers at the base of the pyramid.

"By running activities like awareness campaigns and capacity building workshops, we want to encourage the integration of environment, social and governance criteria into investment decision making," says Stefanie Bauer, Advisor on Sustainable Economic Development, India, GIZ. To facilitate the social enterprise environment GIZ will set up a new Euro 3 million Indo-German bilateral program starting in 2013 to promote SMEs with a social impact.

They will not give out grants but will use this money through the program to help SMEs with technical assistance spread over three core areas. It will go into responsible banking, responsible investments and ecosystem development for SMEs in India including social businesses. GIZ's intent is to increase competitiveness of micro small and medium enterprises.

Most impact investors in India are focusing on three main sectors of Healthcare, Energy and Education. The report finds that the sector is heavily dependent on foreign sources of capital, particularly from the USA and with the current financial markets not tipping in favor of an inflow of foreign funds, there is unexplored potential of domestic foundations and trusts to contribute capital for impact investing in India.

For investors headquartered in India, they are concentrated in North (Delhi) and West (Mumbai), with Central and East India clearly not a preferred base, according to the Ernst & Young's study. Of the 33 impact investors surveyed for this report, the majority stated their investment range as $100,000 - $1 million. Survey results however show differently, the respondents estimated their actual investment range to be lower, at a range between $30,000 and $70,000.

The biggest concern as stated in the report is the investors' claim to measure their social and environmental impact, with 63.6% of the survey respondents using third-party assistance, and a number of companies reportedly doing financial and legal due-diligence.

However, the study states, "... there is a definite lack of transparency in the disclosure of investee organizations as well as reporting of impact." Unless industry reporting standards are laid out impact measurement will not become a transparent process. Please click here to read the original article.

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