InFocusSocial Enterprise

UnLtd India Launchpad for Social Entrepreneurs Invites Applications

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The Government of India is pushing Vocal for Local on a vast, national scale. There is a growing number of entrepreneurs across the country who wish to address different socio-economic issues in their geographies and pan India.

However, they face many deterrents in their journey. Limited mentorship support, inadequate information and direction on setting up and scaling and most importantly, lack of access to networks such as experts, funders, investors are some of the barriers that entrepreneurs face at an early stage.

In the venture capital ecosystem, it is stated that only 1 of 10 entrepreneurs succeed. Overlay this with social entrepreneurs working with communities, providing outreach to the marginalised and vulnerable with limited resources, struggle to sustain, scale and build their impact.

UnLtd India was the first launchpad to support early-stage social entrepreneurs in India to grow as leaders that build high-impact organisations.

“In 2007, we identified the need, saw immense potential in passionate individuals looking to address social problems, and designed a customised Incubation Program that supports and guides them from an idea stage.” states AnshuBhartia, CEO of UnLtd India.

In 13 years, 272 entrepreneurs have been incubated, who have impacted over 15.66 million lives. This includes improving livelihoods of farmers, thus revitalizing their source of revenue option for the next generation, awareness on sexual abuse, career guidance and skilling, thus enabling a family to come out of the poverty trap, etc. Over the years, these entrepreneurs (cumulatively) have been able to raise Rs 9.3 billion through grants, equity, revenue, and debt.

Adding to the challenges of the NGO sector, the current global crisis and its resulting lockdown has set back great initiatives. Social entrepreneurs more than ever, need long-term, unrestricted support to re-build and reimagine systems that address issues rather than exacerbate them. Support from organisations like UnLtd India will ensure these social entrepreneurs have the resources necessary to future-proof their work for the long term.

“It has been inspirational to see small and big social organisations rapidly respond and provide relief to vulnerable communities during this lockdown. This was possible only because of the trust they earned due to their engagement with the communities. Post-Covid, while relief will have its due place, equally important will be to focus on reviving income-generation and reimagining healthcare. We also need to build systems for persons with disabilities to be included. With resources being stretched at the household levels, we potentially see the risk of them getting further excluded,” said AnshuBhartia, CEO, UnLtd India.

For their next cohort, UnLtd India invites applications from NGOs who are designing solutions in healthcare, livelihoods, skilling and inclusive development. Post five rounds of selection, 25 shortlisted organisations will receive hands-on support for a year through their Incubation Program.

Entrepreneurs, who are focused on solutions that address an unmet need of the under-served sections of society and have the potential to create long-term impact, at a community/district/ city/state/national level should fill the online application. Applications are open from September 10 -30, 2020.

SMEStreet Edit Desk

SMEStreet Edit Desk is a small group of excited and motivated journalists and editors who are committed to building MSME ecosystem through valuable information and knowledge spread.

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