Social entrepreneurship is an approach by start-up companies and entrepreneurs, in which they develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural or environmental issues. David Bornstein has used the term “Social Innovator” due to the creative, non traditional strategies that these entrepreneurs use. One of the most successful and popular social entrepreneurs is Bill Drayton. It is believed that he was one who helped define and promote the term ‘Social Entrepreneur’. He is the founder and current chairman of Ashoka, Innovators for the public. It is an organisation that finds and helps the social entrepreneurs of the world. Today, we are going to talk about one such Social Organisation that is walking on the same path.
UnLtd India is a launchpad for passionate individuals whose ideas can translate into long term solutions for India’s socio-economic problems. Its an entrepreneur-centric organisation that finds, support and grow early-stage social entrepreneurs who can build high impact organisations and grow as catalysts for social change. They focus on the development of the entrepreneur through personalised coaching, workshops, leadership retreats and connects to mentors/experts. They incubate social entrepreneurs across all sectors: Agriculture, livelihoods, education, environment, sports, gender equality, health and wellbeing, energy, water & sanitation, financial inclusion, inclusive development and housing with profits and non-Profit Organizations.
Since 2007, UnLtd India has supported over 234 social entrepreneurs who have further impacted 5.6 million lives and created 0.8 million jobs.
Source: Monisha Sathe
Pooja and Richard both worked closely with social entrepreneurs during their stint at UnLtd UK and this instigated the thought of exploring the entrepreneurial landscape in India. They spoke to several entrepreneurs right from Delhi to Mumbai who dealt into the socio-economic issues of India. They had 2 major purposes:
Exchange of knowledge and experience between the entrepreneurs and leaders of India and UK.
Comprehension of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of India.
“Early stage entrepreneurs face 2 major barriers - appropriate funding and professional guidance.” - Michael Norton, trustee, UnLtd UK.
Hence, providing guidance and support to the budding entrepreneurs of India at their early stage was the main aim of UnLtd India.
PROCESS at UnLtd India
According to an article, The process begins with submission of entries by potential social entrepreneurs. The admission is conducted twice in a year, one in Feb and second in august. Each applicant informally presents themselves and then after, shortlisted candidates goes through a Theory of change workshop wherein the entire idea go through a churning process. During this process, the positives and negatives, the factors eliminated and the factors still affecting, everything is checked. Then, candidates present their idea before an external panel who makes the final decision on the projects that qualify as investees of UnLtd India.
Pooja Warier Hamilton
Pooja is not just the co-founder of UnLtd India but also the co-founder of Bombay Connect. It is India’s first co-working space for social entrepreneurs and Journeys for Change that brings global leaders to learn from social entrepreneurs in India. Pooja has been nominated as a TED India Fellow in 2009, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2013 and the member of Class VI of the Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship at the Ananta Aspen Centre and Aspen Global Leadership Network in 2016. Previously, she has also worked with a range of development sector organisations in India. She also has an MA in social work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai.
Source: Ananta Aspen Centre
Richard is also the founder of multiple organisations. He is the co-founder of Journeys for Change and the founder of Careershifters. Journeys for Change runs immersive journeys to help leaders make more impact in the world whereas Careershifters helps bright, motivated people who feel stuck in the wrong careers find and move into more fulfilling work. Richard had quit his consulting job in order to find something meaningful. Since then he has founded/co-founded multiple social organisations in India/UK.
“What drives me is a fascination with how we can all thrive - as individuals and in our work - and, through doing so, make the most positive impact in the world.” - Richard Alderson
“If you aren't making a difference in other people's lives, you shouldn't be in business - it's that simple.” - Richard Branson