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Edtion 7 - April/May 2012

Newsletter Artha - April/May 2012
Edition 7 - April / May 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 mission is to help unlock this opportunity.
Table of Contents:

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

@Ashoka: IndiaThe challenge for tomorrow is to build and create unique business models that will tap the potential and serve the #BOP in India. #ScoEnt

@G_B_Fund: Want to apply for the "India Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2012" ? Visit
Link learn more! #socent #bop #India

@indiabiznet: MWH Global Lights 13 Villages in Rural India Through High Efficiency and Eco ... - Business Wire India (press release) Link

@ykbluedevil: The Unitus Seed Fund: Harnessing Small Equity for Scale at the #BoP Link #impinv giving seed capital to #socent in India

@Reach_Global:Traveling this month to Sri Lanka, India & Bangladesh to advance new housing venture for the BoP — welcome social investors #BopBiz #SocEnt

@steamturbines: Synthesis Energy Systems Announces India Coal Test Agreement - MarketWatch (press release): Synthesis Energy System... Link

@SolarTopNews: Solar energy: Government planning to set up 10000 water systems - Times of India Link #solar

@marketpr: Education NGO Is the Soldier for the Rural Education among India: We are the Indian NGOs with… Link

@OECD: Inspiring story of women's empowerment in rural India Link via @CherieBlairFndn Looking fwd to seeing Blair at #OECDWeek

Wondergrass looking for a CEO/COO in Bangalore

WonderGrass is an Indian-based for-profit pursuing low-income housing, green buildings, and disaster housing products using bamboo as the primary building material. WonderGrass  is looking for a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) / Chief Operating Officer (COO) to lead and manage all business development and customer focused activities. The initial target market is India. The company has its sales and marketing headquarters in Bangalore, Karnataka with production facilities in Nagpur, Maharashtra and Belgaum, Karnataka. Please email 
Kannan Narayanaswamy for further information.

International Youth Foundation Hiring for Program Manager Position

The International Youth Foundation (IYF), a global nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives and conditions of young people worldwide, is seeking a Program Manager to contribute to the growth of a premier IYF program focused on youth-led social innovation, including the management of a vibrant network of young social entrepreneurs, and expansion of the program in multiple countries. The ideal candidate will have experience managing programs, entrepreneurial drive, innovative thinking, and knowledge of the youth-led social innovation field. This full-time position will be based in Baltimore, MD. Please click
here to view the full job description.

LGT VP is looking for Investment Managers

LGT Venture Philanthropy is planning to double its team size in China, India and Southeast Asia and is currently looking to hire Investment Managers in these regions. For more information, please email Wolfgang Hafenmayer.


Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Asia
May 24, 2012
Location: London, United Kingdom
This forum will address the evolution of entrepreneurialism in Asian markets in the context of political and economic factors; cultural and societal norms; and the business of innovation within corporations. Read more...

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Energy for All Investor Forum 2012

June 4, 2012 
ADB HQ in Manila, Philippines

ADB’s 'Energy for All' program aims to provide energy access to 100 million people in Asia and the Pacific Region by 2015 by building a platform for cooperation, exchange, innovation, and project development.  The Investor Forum will be one of the pre-forum events of the Asia Clean Energy Forum, which will be held at the ADB Headquarters in Manila, Philippines. The Asian Clean Energy Forum this year will focus on Sustainable Energy Development. Read more...

The Impact Forum 2012
Date: June 25-26, 2012
Location: Shaw Foundation Alumni House and Kent Ridge Guild House, National University of Singapore

The Impact Forum 2012: Igniting Capital Markets for Social Good is a global conference dedicated to the evolution of sustainable development in Asia that will be focusing on connecting impact and innovation with investment. Join Shujog in the keynotes, plenaries, breakout and networking sessions that will spark your interest and inspire you!

Partnering for Global Impact
Date: July 9-10, 2012
Location: Lugano, Switzerland

Partnering for Global Impact (PGI) is a new initiative designed to facilitate transactions in impact investing and philanthropy through one-to-one meetings. Partnering for Global Impact aims to become the leading and most innovative forum for the social impact community through which to partner, identify and generate investment and funding opportunities, attract capital to the sector and shape public opinion. PGI's goal is for this annual event to evolve into an open and dynamic ecosystem to scale global impact.  Read more...

India Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award - 2012
After an extremely successful 2011 Awards, The Jubilant Bhartia Foundation and Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship are inviting applicants for the India Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2012. The Award aims to identify and celebrate visionary social entrepreneurs who have demonstrated large-scale, systems-changing models and are at the stage of scaling/replicating their ideas across India and in other countries.
The deadline for receiving applications is 31 May 2012.

Following an intensive search and selection process including expert reviews and site visits, three to four leading social entrepreneurs will be selected as finalists. The winner(s) will be announced in a ceremony coinciding with the India Economic Summit in November 2012 in New Delhi.
The Award benefits for the winner(s) include eligibility to participate in the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, which provides winners with unprecedented opportunities to engage with global decision makers from the public, corporate, media and academic sectors. The finalists will then be invited to the India Economic Summit in November 2012 in New Delhi. Please click here to apply and learn more. 


Action for India is looking for creative, driven young people who have innovative solutions to the problems they see around them and are eager to use technology to actively build those solutions. By pairing young fellows with established mentors, Action for India aims to match ideas with resources and enthusiasm with experience in order to make things happen.
Action for India launched its online Global Network on  This network, called the AFI community, will bring together entrepreneurs, investors and experts to discover, finance and scale the best solutions that make a sustainable impact on low income people. Register for free and create an impact at the BoP! The Network offers the following benefits for. Please click
here to read more.


& Swasth: Supporting a market-based health care delivery model in India
The primary value proposition of the Swasth model is that it significantly reduces cost of quality healthcare for low-income people in India, through integrated basic healthcare solutions at a price much lower than what the market offers.  This is a case study based on teh collaboration between FEMS3 and Swasth India.  Please click here to read more.

As a producer and supplier of Shea butter and African black soap, Naasakle Ltd. works with women's cooperatives in Northern Ghana that have a membership base of more than 700 women. By sourcing Shea butter from these women's cooperatives, Naasakle has helped "strengthen the [women's] right to access the nuts and improve the economic returns from their labor." Naasakle helps women form cooperative groups and has offered workshops to train women in the most efficient production methods.  Please click here to read more under Artha Case Studies.

Unitus Seed Fund invests in Villgro Innovation Marketing

Villgro Innovation Marketing (VIM) is building an innovative last mile rural distribution business starting in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This organization is focused on distributing affordable, high value-add agriculture and dairy input products which increase the income of small and marginal farmers. They’ve created a low-cost, two-tier distribution system with feeder warehouses connected to village-based independent sales agents (called Village Level Entrepreneurs) who also provide advisory services to farmers about how best to increase their crop yields. 

The Artha Team was proud to sponsor and attend the Sankalp Forum in Mumbai.

The Sankalp conference brought together prominent India-focused impact investors and social entrepreneurs to discuss how the field has moved forward and where it is likely to go. The conference provided a great opportunity for investors to identify rising stars and to consider new investments.

The Artha Award went to Sankalp awardee Eram Scientific from the Water & Sanitation stream. Eram Scientific created ‘Delight’, the automatic public toilet unit developed by ESS intended to improve the sanitation facilities in urban geographies and especially in developing nations. The unit has a unique structure that facilitates the display of advertisement boards on its outer surface, thus acting as a source for additional income. This can also be a source of income for the people who are given charge of operating a unit.
Eram has installed 400 e-toilet units all over Kerala. Check out our blog for a rundown of the Artha team's activities at the Forum. Meantime, the Artha Platform now has 104 active members and is growing fast - please click here if you would like to be listed on the pipeline, join the investor community for shared due diligence, or advertise yourself as a third party service provider to the network!  The Artha team is now preparing for another round of technical and functional improvements on the system, so please do share with us your feedback about how this tool can better serve our impact investment ecosystem in India!

Indian philanthropists should be concerned about human rights

Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth talks about the importance of human rights in successful development efforts and the role of philanthropy in an interview. Please click here to read more.

Entrepreneurs will be first movers in impact investing

Silicon Valley entrepreneur-turned-impact-investor and TONIIC-founder Charly Kleissner talks about impact investing, and the role it can play in effective philanthropy in India. Please click here to read more.

TBI Innovations: ZIMBA – A Simple Machine To Quench The Thirst For Clean Water

Odd as it may seem, innovation and usage have become inversely proportionate processes today. Says scientist Suprio Das, “90 per cent of our leading designs are created only for 10 per cent of the people- those who can afford to benefit from them.” Das intends to make basic pure drinking water affordable and accessible to the common person. Please click here to read more.

Harvard, MIT to launch free online courses

Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have joined hands to launch an ambitious $60 million initiative under which they will offer free online courses to students , a collaboration that will be headed by Indian-origin professor Anant Agarwal.  The new online education platform 'EdX' would be overseen by a Cambridge-based not-for-profit organization and be owned and governed equally by the two universities . MIT and Harvard have committed $30 million each in institutional support, grants and philanthropy to launch the collaboration. Please click here to read more.


TiE Stree Shakti (TSS) is a movement that aims to connect and enable enterprising women from different socio-economic strata through a series of on-the-ground focus activities that are driven by TiE’s core philosophy of mentoring, education, inspiration and networking. TiE Stree Shakti was conceived & launched by TiE Mumbai in 2009 and is committed to celebrating these ‘Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs in India’. Please click here to read more.

Social Venture Design is an intensive program to help social changemakers with an opportunity to refine their plans and prepare them for reality. It is a practical hands-on course developed to take an entrepreneur's great idea to fruition, and to create a high impact venture.  The course will help participants develop an understanding of core aspects of entrepreneurship and leadership, and how these principles can be applied toward solving a social or environmental problem. It is designed to enable them to identify a core problem and to develop and refine business model components of a proposed solution to an environmental issue, with an ability to communicate effectively. Please click here for more.


InVenture unlocks access to affordable capital to half a billion people, using mobile accounting and a proven financing model.  There are almost 98 million micro-borrowers who lack access to simple accounting tools and capital to grow beyond sole- proprietorships into formal employment-generating firms. For millions of micro-enterprises without access to affordable financing, InVenture’s solution provides greater insight into their business metrics and more financial flexibility when compared to other alternatives. Micro-enterprises have increased revenues, financial literacy rates and higher savings. For micro-enterprises, InVenture’s model provides an opportunity to grow their businesses, create jobs and lift themselves and their communities out of poverty.  Please see the Artha Pipeline for more information.

Mera Gao Power (MGP) builds and operates micro lighting utilities in Uttar Pradesh, India serving off-grid customers with a high quality, dependable lighting and mobile phone charging services. By tailoring its micro grid design to meet the specific needs of poor, off-grid households, MGP has developed the lowest cost micro grid in operation. Quality, dependable light transforms lives; children are able to study at night, adults are able to earn additional income, and indoor air quality is improved. MGP's services benefit women who traditionally spend more time working indoors and children who accidentally drink kerosene and inhale its fumes. With a commercial model, MGP expects to scale up its services to reach 1,000,000 people by 2017.
Please see the Artha Pipeline for more information.

LabourNet  is  India’s leading informal sector livelihoods-focused social enterprise that is striving to create a platform for Skill Building, Job Linkages, Financial Inclusion and enabling workers with life tools. They currently have nearly 45,000 workers registered and are looking to raise 20 cr.    Their aim is to have registered and provided identity to half a million workers by 2017. They will provide each registered worker with identity, financial inclusion, and an opportunity to upskill at different points in working life cycle and get certified.  Their offeringsi include no frills bank accounts, insurance policies, assessments (includnig recogonition of prior learning, career growth), various training solutions (class room training, onsite and continued skill improvement), linkages in the form of piece rate project sourcing and contracts, as well as listing services.  Please see the Artha Pipeline for more information.

Be! Fund
invests in young entrepreneurs in India, age 18-29, to pioneer businesses that solve the problems they face in their lives. From water to waste, energy to shelter and crime, Be!Fund believes young people who have grown up in poverty have enterprising solutions to the problems they face and that  they have simply just never been given the chance to solve them. Be!Fund invests in businesses designed and proposed by young people who live in poverty, asking young people to apply through their partners' mass media campaigns: Be! Movies aired on national television each ask young people to submit their enterprise ideas by calling or sending an SMS. Young people who fulfill their criteria are taken through three levels of interviews, and build a business plan that is then presented to an Investment Committee.
If they succeed, they receive an investment (not a loan). Please click here to read more.


IIP India Health Fund I represents a unique opportunity for investors to participate in an
actively managed portfolio of high-growth high-impact companies in India. Investing across a range of businesses that provide affordable high-quality healthcare to the under-served Indian mass-market, the Fund will tap into a consumer base of 650 million people, with 62% of the country's disposable income, who currently overpay for care of variable quality. IIP India Health Fund I will deliver attractive financial returns while improving the overall health and wellbeing of millions of Indians. Please email Nadia Sood for more information.

New breed of novice philanthropists will be the drivers of change in India

India’s wealthy are giving more, according to Bain and Co’s India Philanthropy Report 2012. The report, released in March at the third annual Indian Philanthropy Forum, finds that India’s affluent donated 3.1 per cent of their income last year, compared with 2.3 per cent in 2010. Perhaps more significant than the figures or the trend they illustrate is that high net worth individuals (HNWIs) under 30 appear to be leading that trend. Of the 398 Indian high net worth families surveyed, 69 per cent reported that young relatives were spearheading philanthropic decision-making, and in 76 per cent of cases, they have assumed ‘active roles’ in charity initiatives. In contrast with this is the participation of under-30s in the US, where only 13 per cent of young people in wealthy families are actively involved in family philanthropic projects. The involvement of the young wealthy is of particular significance when considered against the fact that India has the youngest millionaires in Asia and among the fastest-growing population of HNWIs in the world, according to the most recent Asia-Pacific wealth report published by Merrill Lynch. Most of India’s billionaires are in the 31-45 age group, while most HNWIs in Hong Kong and Japan are over 66.

On the Path to Sustainability and Scale

'On the Path to Sustainability and Scale' provides insights on the for-profit social enterprise landscape in India. This report analyzes the state of these mission driven businesses including their geographic and sector distribution, business structure, stage of development, financial viability, funding sources and key challenges. This analysis and the actionable recommendations that follow will assist investors, donors, sector enablers, policy-makers and academics in making informed decisions about their involvement in the social enterprise industry.  Please click here for the full report.