The Status of Social Entrepreneurship in India

An INSEAD article reflecting on social entrepreneurship after the International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship in India highlights some key challenges and trends for the field.  Some interesting points I picked up:

  • The legal, political, and social environment is important to social entrepreneurship.

A policy and regulatory framework within which social entrepreneurs can obtain status without compromising their objectives is also very important.

  • Space for collaboration is needed

“It would be good to have a collaborative network to be used among social entrepreneurs that enables them to share ideas and spread innovations, ideally linked to an academic institution interested in, and committed to, promoting awareness and creating knowledge and insight into the best functioning of social enterprises,” [Hans Wahl, executive director of INSEAD’s Social Entrepreneurship Initiative] adds.

  • The need for social entrepreneurship will grow in the next five to ten years

“Social entrepreneurship and social businesses will be mainstreamed substantially, so we will have many opting to follow the course of one or the other which will hopefully impact society positively.” (Devashri Mukherjee, director of Ashoka’s Venture Programme)

Beyond these predictions, Deval Sanghavi of Dasra points out that social entrepreneurship exists because the government has not been able to meet the needs of citizens.   Mr Sanghavi points out to INSEAD that “the government is very keen on promoting social entrepreneurship – not necessarily by funding it or by advising on it or enabling it. What they do do, is not disable it.”  In India, the ability to create social enterprises is not hindered by government (although, as pointed out, it is not helped either).

For further predictions on the field of social entrepreneurship in general, check out the countdown for the top trends at’s Social Entrepreneurship blog.


6 Responses

  1. […] India with a great summary on the status of social entrepreneurship in India.  admin POSTED UNDER: Indian companies, economics, […]

  2. This also interestingly provides inputs to Vinay’s point in his earlier post. In the comments section he opined that micro-finance is a solution to the safety net that the govt. is supposed to, but failed to provide.

    I recalled the same comment provided here in this blog! Even I feel that credit should go to the govt. for facilitating the formation of NGOs and in certain cases active alliance within various arms of govt (NABARD and India post for example), towards helping the poor.

    I think the better perspective is that govt. is being realistic about its inabilities and had not been egoistic enough to come in the way of those who are willing to help! 🙂

  3. A country like India needs number of social entrepreneurs and especially social businesses in rural areas.

    But unfortunately not enough is being done by the Govt to encourage them and make them valuable partners in societal development. Strangely in India, unlike in other countries, a social entrepreneur/activist loses lot of time and efforts in making multiple rounds to Government offices to settle legal issues like registration, income tax exemption, FCRA etc. By the time he/she completes this, he/gets gets demotivated by looking at the system. As an entrepreneur, nowadays I am spending more time in dealing issues with Govt than focusing on projects which is really adverse.

    Indian Govt should learn from advanced countries in terms of making things easy and simple for social entrepreneurs to stimulate growth as the roots. It should make its offices easily accessible by social entrepreneurs. Govt should seriously think about this and make provisions to bring a change and encourage social entrepreneurs.

  4. entrepreneurship is a hot topic these days and every one wants to taste it….try this one

  5. Social Entrepreneurs in India has always been discouraged by the Government. There are number of issues which cannot be solved by the government. Government make the laws/rules but the interpretations are always different.

    At the time of Registration procedure, Auditing, Accounts Submission, no government officers are helping the NGOs/Social entrepreneurs. It becomes difficult for NGOs to get guidance also. Very few consultants are there to help NGOs. Some are there who charges very high fee.

    Therefore Proper guidance should be given to social entrepreneurs.

  6. i also want to mention the same things as i have a business plan for developing house f urban india

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