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Edition 13 - January 2013

Artha Newsletter
Edition 13 - January 2013
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

@BloombergNews: Why is a newspaper dedicated solely to rural news in Northern India such a big deal? more here

@ritu_instablogs: Rural India is the most complex part of the planet as it has 833 million people, 400 living languages - P. Sainath more here

@PostWorldNews: In rural India, rapes are common, but justice for victims is not more here 

"India is very advanced in understanding the BOP market which is worth $365 billion per annum. my Social Development P… more here

@Avaket: A must read for Impact Investors in India's BOP markets on Pioneer Post more here  via @sharethis #impactinv   

HP supports Jr Achievement Social Innovation, Skoll Social Entrepreneur, Random Hacks of Kindness India, Taproot Foundation. #SAPRadio   

'What Makes Social Entrepreneurs Different' & why they're essential more here  ~@HarvardBiz @LivingGoods @ScalingSocial #socent

@Ashoka: 5 lessons for driving large-scale social change through collaboration more here  @benhecht @HarvardBiz @ScalingSocial

@heeals: As per #Water Aid,50% village do not have clean drinking water in India approx Rs 6700cr annually spent on treatment of water borne disease.   

India stands among the top 5 nations of the world in terms of renewable energy capacity more here


Asia Coordinator
Over the next few years, EDGE aims to build a strong network within Asia (with a focus on India and China) and expand its operations to build a relevant and competitive talent pool for Impact Business in the region. The Asia Coordinator will play a pioneering role in tapping into market opportunities in this part of the world. This person will create and implement strategies for multiple countries in Asia, engaging regional stakeholders and players in the field of Impact Business.
More information here.

Location: India (Mumbai, Bangalore or Chennai)  
Interested candidates should write to

Business Development Officer
GENERATION ENTERPRISE AND DHRIITI are seeking an entrepreneurial Business Development Officer (BDO) to lead their new business incubator in New Delhi. All candidates must be able to live and work in New Delhi for the duration of the 10-month pilot starting in March 2013. The search is for a BDO to lead their curriculum delivery and support the start-up businesses that eventually are funded by the programme.
The BDO will receive support from Dhriiti and GEN staff but they are looking for a self-starter who is comfortable in an environment without too much direct supervision. However, they invest heavily in their staff and are willing to consider candidates with limited experience but a strong drive to achieve results.

Location: Delhi, India
: Interested candidates should write to

Action for India Forum
Januray 19th, 2013
Location: Delhi, India

The Team at Action For India prepares to welcome 100 hand-picked young social innovators plus 100 influential guests for a one and a half day residential retreat. Like last year, the focus of the Forum is to foster the connections and opportunities social innovators need to scale their enterprises and increase impact at the Bottom of the Pyramid. On the second day AFI will announce the five winners of the recently completed 2012 Growth Prize competition. Read more...

Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) 2013
January 31st, 2013
Location: Delhi, India

The Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS), organised annually since 2001, is an international platform for exchange of knowledge on all nuances of sustainable development. Over the past 12 years, it has emerged as one of the most leading forums on issues of global sustainability.
The Summit witnesses the attendance of various heads of State and Governments, thought leaders, policy makers and the crème de la crème of industry and academia who come together to deliberate on myriad issues. Read more...

Journey for Change
February 22nd, 2013
Location: Delhi and Rajasthan, India

Join a group of international leaders for a unique eight day immersive journey to learn from some of India's most exciting social entrepreneurs. Participants take part in site visits where they meet the founders of each venture, their staff and beneficiaries; they will discuss, debate and reflect with fellow participants; and have an opportunity to enjoy the magnificent culture of the region.
The journey for change aim is that participants leave inspired, connected and better equipped to create profit and impact in their work. Read more...

Dasra Philanthropy Week
Date: March 4th - 7th
, 2013
Location: Mumbai, India

The Indian Philanthropy Week provides opportunities to discuss India's most pressing social challenges and ways in which philanthropy can make a difference in solving them. Engage with leading philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, foundation heads, and government officials during the week. The Indian Philanthropy Week 2013 will include:
Sankalp Arwards 2013
Sankalp Awards showcase the best Social Enterprises across 5 High Impact Sectors:

    - Agriculture, Food and Rural Business
    - Clean Energy/Technology
    - Education and Vocational Training
    - Healthcare, Water and Sanitation
    - Technology for Development

Established to recognize some of the most innovative, sustainable and scalable businesses,the Sankalp Awards have come to be known as India’s largest Social Enterprise Awards. Read more...

The Times of India Social Impact Awards
The awards are designed to promote the activities of those who are working int he fields of health, education, livelihoods, environment and advocacy and empowerment.  Applications closed in October 2012 and were open to actors in the corporate, government or NGO worlds.  Considering the position the Times of India occupies in India's media world the awards are of note and worth watching as is the process of selecting the award winners.


Peace First Prize
Five amazing young people between the ages of 8 and 22 will each receive $50,000 to recognise their peacemaking work and invest in their leadership. Winners will be chosen on key criteria: compassion, courage, and the ability to engage others in creating positive change.  Applications are live through April 12, and early nominees will be considered for Peace First's national media campaign.
Read more... 

The Dell Social Innovation Challenge ends January 28th. Don't miss this chance to join a vibrant community of like-minded individuals, access the expertise of mentors, and earn funding to put your solutions to social challenges to action!  The Dell Social Innovation Challenge offers $350,000 in prizes and awards, and is your opportunity to create social impact. The time is now! Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity. 
M-CRIL Microfinance Review 2012: MFIs in a Regulated Environment - a financial and social analysis
Do you want to know about the emerging impact of regulation on the MFI industry in India, the likely future impact on MFI financial performance of a key regulatory measure like the cap on margins, and the current status of the Indian MFI industry?
The operational and social performance as well as the financial status of this sector and its efficiency and profitability are captured in M-CRIL's Microfinance Review 2012, in a comprehensive analysis of the performance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in India providing services to low income clients.
Unitus Seed Fund Lands $8 Million for BoP Startups from Leading Early-stage Investors
The website for the TATA Social Enterprise Challenge, a joint initiative by the TATA Group and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM Calcutta) to find India’s most promising social enterprises, has gone live. Read more...

Welcome to the 13th Artha Newsletter and Happy New Year!
The Artha Team is excited to announce the completion of its push forward on the technical development of our platform. We are embarking on a test period of our new Artha v1.2 functionality, which includes improved controls for due diligence template customisation, more dynamic and proactive positioning for entrepreneurs as well as third party service providers and entrepreneur support organisations (ESO's) (i.e. "live-pitches"), as well as enhanced feedback capabilities on all user profile types (i.e., all users can now rate each other). The new version of the platform is now also IRIS-compliant (in testing), and capable of generating better tracking activity on the deal pipeline. Artha will also imminently be launching the Artha Venture Challenge in India, with details forthcoming regarding our partners and what the challenge will entail!  This will be a competition in conjunction with the existing excellent activities of players like Intellecap, Villgro & UnLtd., and partners like Ennovent. We continue to aim to provide a space for safe information exchange for famliy offices, social venture capital funds, venture philanthropists, foundations, DFIs, ESO's and individuals who operate in this niche arena, and who share a collective focus on maximizing both social impact and financial return in India.   Please contact us if you would like to feature your news in this newsletter, including details of about job opportunities, forthcoming events, India-specific news and/or the launch of resources (white papers, reports, etc.) on our platform!
Lok Capital buys minority stake in social enterprise Drishti
The Rockefeller Foundation-backed Lok Capital, a dedicated VC fund focused on serving the BOP (bottom of the pyramid) has bought ‘a significant minority stake’ in Drishti, a social enterprise providing eye care to underserved populations. This also marks the New Delhi-headquartered VC fund’s foray into healthcare segment. Read more...

TATA Social Enterprise Challenge website goes live
The website for the TATA Social Enterprise Challenge, a joint initiative by the TATA Group and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM Calcutta) to find India’s most promising social enterprises, has gone live.

Social enterprise in India makes steady progress
This week The UK Guardian newspaper published an article on social enterprise in India.The article, written by a lecturer in sociology and social policy and director of undergraduate programmes at the University of Southapmton Dr Pathik Pathak, provides a general overview of the work of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and UnLtd India. It focuses on activity in Mumbai, the home of social enterprise in India, and provides short biographies of a number of social enterprises
Social WWF Switzerland - Tropical Forest challenge
Ennovent and WWF Switzerland are pleased to announce the winners of the Tropical Forest Cha
llenge in two categories, company and startup. Launched in May 2012, the WWF Switzerland Tropical Forest Challenge is a global initiative managed by Ennovent on behalf of WWF Switzerland to discover the best global for-profit enterprises delivering a positive impact on the conservation of tropical forest biodiversity


Since its inception in 1999, Hole-in-the-Wall has grown from a single computer at Kalkaji to more than a hundred computers at various locations across India and abroad. The driving force behind this is the concept of Minimally Invasive Education proposed by Dr. Mitra.

These slum children could actually learn on their own that too in such a cost effective manner with benefits like improved group dynamics, better in-class behaviour.

Bombay Connect is at the edge of this new economy. They provide a collaborative & affordable work space where individuals, teams and start-ups can work from, learn, meet peers and be inspired to act creatively. They believe that everyone should have access to the resources, networks and support necessary to help them launch and grow their amazing ideas.

Ek Titli. Do you want to know how to grow that tomato organically in your backyard? Or learn about the fresh water dolphins to be found in one of the tributaries of the Brahmaputra? Then meet Ek Titli – an organisation dedicated to the promotion of organic farming and green living in the country. Through a two-pronged approach, Ek Titli is helping farmers and anybody else who is interested to create organic farms and grow plants and through their website they are helping to spread the word about clean and green initiatives.

Kinara is a social business that provides loans in the range of Rs.1 Lakh (US $2,000) to Rs. 10 Lakhs (US $20,000) to micro and small enterprises in India filling the gap between microfinance and commercial capital. They work with network partners (buyers, trade organisations, franchisors, etc.) to source, evaluate and fund businesses with annual revenues of $50K-$200K in manufacturing, artisan clusters and agri-retail sectors. Post referrals, Kinara Capital assesses the borrowers using a custom credit risk tool taking into consideration its current and projected financials, business conditions, and experience. Please see the Artha pipeline for more information...

MyMela creates sustainable international demand for artisans globally through a vibrant, interactive online marketplace, a crowdfunding platform and a robust and diverse retail presence. Traditional artisan communities worldwide lack fair access to the growing international community of eco and socially conscious shoppers. They curate the best, most authentic artisan products and presents them to a global audience of shoppers, online and in stores. Please see the Artha pipeline for more information...

MHealth offers low-cost, high-quality, primary-care health advice over the phone. MeraDoctor puts great primary care doctors on the phone, and sells consultations with them as prepaid scratch cards at thousands of rural chemists and retail shops. By helping 84 million families in rural India end their reliance on local unqualified "quacks" for everyday primary care, they build valuable long-term healthcare relationships. They make profits by selling single phone consultations and unlimited consultation packages for more than it costs us to deliver them. Please see the Artha pipeline for more information...

Chromatic Mobile Health Technologies Pvt Ltd offers newborn jaundice detection using mobile phone images. The first in line application is  exploiting the use of chromatic technology for bilirubin detection in new born babies using mobile phones along with a color chart. The aim of the enterprise is to penetrate 80% of the population who cannot afford healthcare by using mHealth chromatic applications so as to make it affordable. 
Please see the Artha pipeline for more information..

Enterprising Farmer Producer Company Ltd. for Medicinal Plant offers farmers productivity enhancements through organic cultivation and supporting the formation of social enterprises capable of bringing about positive and sustainable change at the BoP, specifically in UP and Bihar. The model includes work through credit arrangements, working to eliminate intermediaries in the value chains, supporting the improvement of bargaining power for farmers, supporting the introduction of the right tech and machinery, and the diversification of crops. Please see the Artha pipeline for more information..
Dasra’s report on Urban Sanitation gains global philanthropic interest
1'600 children die every day in India due to illnesses caused by lack of sanitation. Dasra’s latest research report, “Squatting Rights”, sponsored by Forbes Marshall, focuses on the lack of toilets in urban India and how the sanitation crisis can be best solved. Over four months, Dasra’s team reviewed 160 nonprofit organisations and identified nine promising and innovative organisations which have the potential for scale and impact towards urban sanitation.

An overview of Grameen Shakti, past and future 
Nancy Wimmer, author of the book, Green Energy for a Billion Poor – How Shakti Created a Winning Model for Social Business, outlines what has made Grameen Shakti a success and its plans to roll out to its second million rural households in Bangladesh.  In 1995 small group of people began experimenting how to bring solar electricity to rural Bangladesh and in 1996 started its first rural renewable energy service company – Grameen Shakti – which literally translates to rural energy.