Tata Social Enterprise Challenge recognises India’s most promising early-stage social ventures

Tata Social Enterprise Challenge recognises India’s most promising early-stage social ventures

India Blooms News Service | 18 Jan 2016

Kolkata, Jan 18 (IBNS): Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2015-16, a joint initiative of the Tata group and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC), celebrated India’s most promising early-stage social enterprises, which could bring about long-term solutions to India's social problems.

The grand finale of the fourth edition of the programme held on Jan 16 at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C), saw HelpUsGreen from Kanpur (Winner), Jeevtronics from Pune (1st Runner-up), and Hasiru Dala Innovations from Bengaluru and Disease Diagnose Group from Boston, USA (joint winners of the 2nd Runner-up position), emerge as the most promising social ventures, winning prize money of Rs. 2.5 lakh, Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 1.5 lakh, respectively.

Tata Social Enterprise Challenge (TSEC) is a quest to find India’s most promising early-stage social enterprises. 

The endeavor of the challenge is to create an ecosystem for social entrepreneurship and encourage sustainable, scalable and measurable social impact. This year’s edition received more than 600 registrations from across India, out of which 210 met all the eligibility criteria and moved to the next round of the competition. 

The impact proposals were in the area of agriculture, food and dairy; healthcare, water and sanitation; technology and development; education & skills development; housing; handicrafts; and energy and microfinance/financial inclusion. The ventures were judged on three parameters – Business Model, Social Impact and Sustainability.

Ankit Agarwal, the winner of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2015-16 has started HelpUsGreen. A Kanpur based social enterprise, HelpUsGreen preserves the rivers by flower cycling the waste from the places of worship into bio-fertilizers and lifestyle products like incense and bathing soaps, among others, and in doing so also empowers women self-help groups (currently the venture is managing five women self-help groups with sixteen members each).

Ecstatic with his win Ankit said, “It’s been an overwhelming experience. We have won many competitions before but Tata Social Enterprise Challenge is like the Filmfare of social entrepreneurship.”

Jeevtronics, a Pune based venture, was declared as the 1st Runner-up. Ashish Gawade representing the venture said, “It was a great experience for us. The knowledge, mentoring and feedback that we received from the jury was really helpful, and it was good to collaborate with the other start-ups too.”

The 2nd Runner-up position saw a tie between two ventures, Hasiru Dala Innovations from Bengaluru and the student-led venture, Disease Diagnose Group from Boston, USA.

The joint 2nd Runner-Up venture, Disease Diagnose Group (DDG), was represented by Alphonse Harris who said, “I am very excited to get the recognition for our venture and hope to use this recognition to get more partnerships.” DDG has developed a hand-held malaria detector called Rapid Assessment of Malaria (RAM). Out of every 1000 malaria infections, only 500 fevers are identified, 250 tests are performed and only 125 diagnoses are accurate. This device, called RAM for short, detects a magnetic substance that malaria parasites release when digesting red blood cells thus providing a faster and more accurate diagnostic test than those used currently, and at a much lower cost. The device is reusable, mechanical, fast and sensitive, and the technology is clinically approved.

Speaking on the occasion, Ashok Banerjee, Director, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, said, “Social entrepreneurship is all about innovative solutions to social problems. At IIMC, we want to take this as a challenge and as a movement. In the last four years, as part of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge, we have reached out to different parts of the country meeting students, entrepreneurs and NGOs, getting all stakeholders together, and creating awareness about social entrepreneurship. Going forward, we want to continue on this journey and contribute towards bringing about change through enabling social enterprises in India.”

Felicitating the winners, Mammen Chandy, Director, Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, said, “Today students of management should seek to find fulfillment in social entrepreneurship rather than only seeking personal material gain. The lives of people like Ida Scudder show how Social Enterprise can be transforming and change the lives of millions of people.”

Tata Social Enterprise Challenge recognises India’s most promising early-stage social ventures

India Blooms News Service
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