Intl. Conf. on Social Entrepreneurship in India – Day 1

I had the opportunity to attend the International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship in India on the 4th and 5th of December. In this post I will try to narrate my experience at the conference. In the posts following this one, I will talk about people and organizations I got in touch with, and most importantly discuss some issues that came up for discussion during the conference.

photo credit Sonia Rai

photo credit Sonia Rai

The theme of the event – Inspiring|Connecting|Sharing – set the right expectations for the attendees and, to be sure, lived up to it. The event was organized by UnLtd India and Center for Social Initiative and Management(CSIM).

The conference was spread over two days and events were well planned to facilitate formal as well informal discussions and networking. It was eye-opening and engaging in many ways. Participants from almost all parts of India, and with interests ranging from micro-lending to rural tourism, attended.

Day 1

Proceedings were kicked off by Bert Cherian of Meta Results setting the tone with his humour and energy. The ball was set rolling by an interaction with Nachiket Mor of ICICI Foundation, facilitated by Neera Nundy of Dasra. Nachiket talked about his personal experiences that shaped up the path to his current position as President at ICICI Foundation. He narrated how people in rural areas are not exactly used to the apathy and standard of living prevalent in urban areas. He also talked about evolution of ICICI Foundation. Answering to a question, Nachiket questioned the value of experience as the only source of answers to problems. In his opinion, many a times a fresh look at things from a total outsider can give us out-of-box solutions. On a related note he said that the ability to pay or finance an initiative is not always a plus point. Many an innovative idea has come out in crunch times.

Nachiket Mor photo credit Sonia Rai

Nachiket Mor photo credit Sonia Rai

Nachiket was of the view that the term “Social Entrepreneurship” should not have been a groundbreaking term or concept at all. Enterprises should be socially conscious and socially motivated by default. Talking about scaling up organizations, he cited example of Starbucks which had to operate in centers which were poles apart in their culture.

As you have seen, Nachiket gave us some really interesting perspectives of social entrepreneurship.

Continue reading

Social Entrepreneurship at the TiE Summit 2008

Look out for the TiE Entrepreneurship Summit 2008 scheduled for December 16-18th to be held at Hotel Grand Ashok, Bangalore.

The theme of this year’s conference is Inclusive Entrepreneurship and features a keynote session on Social Entrepreneurship. Speakers at the keynote include Dr Carl Schramm and Rohini Nilekani. Looks like they also have an entire day dedicated to clean tech, where Harish Hande, the co-founder of SELCO India will be speaking.

Reminder: The Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 – INDIA

We have mentioned this opportunity before. But the folks from Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation wanted us to throw in a reminder to our readers about the ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award 2008. The deadline is for application is 5th June, 2008 and you can access the online application here.

Here are some basic details on the award:

The Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation and The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship , in collaboration with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are inviting applications for India’s Social Entrepreneur Of The Year Award 2008. Five finalists will be selected following an intensive search and selection process including expert reviews and site visits. The winner will be announced in a ceremony coinciding with the India Economic Summit in November 2008.

We have previously featured last year’s award recipient Harish Hande and his organization Selco.