First XLRI Conference on sustainable development

The Social Entrepreneurship Trust and Social Initiative Group for Managerial Assistance (Sigma) of XLRI, in association with Ashoka and Indianngos.com has planned its first XLRI Social Entrepreneurship Conference. The conference is scheduled to be at XLRI Jamshedpur on January 31st and February 1st 2009.

The theme of the conference would be “providing access for sustainable development” while its purpose is to showcase innovative social entrepreneurship ventures by individual entrepreneurs, NGOs, corporate executives and government agencies.[source The Telegraph]

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After Fab India, its XLRI’s turn

ThinkChange India had earlier covered Fab India’s innovative business model for bringing the riches right at the doorsteps of the skilled and isolated rural weavers. A similar opportunity now knocks the doors of  tribal artisans of Jharkhand.

Parichay, a non-profit founded by six first-year MBA students within the XLRI Jamshedpur campus, has inaugurated its ‘Design and Learning Centre’ not only to promote the traditional artforms native to Jarkhand, but also to improve the skills of the artisans to create products tailored to modern tastes.

In what seems to be a well co-ordinated effort, Tinplate Company of India Ltd has provided the initial investment, Kalamandir, a local based NGO, has agreed to offer the necessary training and Parichay would market the products the artisans would design. One of the founders of Parichay has summed up the idea to The Financial Express

Essentially the idea is to provide a more sustainable and non-migratory livelihood to our artisans who are currently facing a lot of trouble pursuing their crafts

While the three-way partnership between a school, a non-profit and a for-profit organization to uplift the rural poor is commendable, achieving sustainability is critcal. The best way to achieve this is probably to devise an exit strategy by training the artisans in due course in marketing and entrepreneurship.

Evening Edition

For your reading pleasure:

  • International Relations: The India-Africa summit kicked off with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promising to ease access from the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Said Singh, “under this scheme, India shall unilaterally provide preferential market access for exports from all the 50 least developed countries.”
  • Green Energy: As we have been covering in this space, green energy is becoming hotter and hotter in India. Kenersys, a newly formed wind-energy company (owned by Pune based Kalyani Group), has received an investment from First Reserve Corporation, a leading energy-focused private equity firm [via VC Circle]
  • Business Education: XLRI becomes the first Indian business school to become a “part of a UN global initiative promoting corporate social responsibility, values and ethics”. The school is now a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), a global framework for incorporating CSR into curricula and research [via Calcutta Telegraph]