Tata Group in Partnership with IIM Calcutta Announces the Launch of ‘Tata Social Enterprise Challenge’


By Rusen Kumar

MUMBAI: The Tata Group, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC),has launched the ‘TataSocial Enterprise Challenge’ (http://tatasechallenge.org), a quest to find India’s most promising social enterprises. The endeavour of the challenge is to create an ecosystem for social entrepreneurship and encourage sustainable, scalable and measurable social impact. It would be one of the major event in the country that will promote social enterprises.

rusen_kumar‘Tata Social Enterprise Challenge’ is a unique initiative, undertaken jointly by an educational institution and a business group, to promote the spirit of social entrepreneurship in India. It is being supported by some of the biggest Venture Capitalists in the social entrepreneurship space like Ennovent, Yunus Business Fund – Through Grameen Creative Lab, Acumen Fund and Ankur Capital amongst others.

Teams who either have an early stage venture(not older than 3 years) or a promising idea with a plan, that can create sustainable social impact, can submit their business plans online, by logging onto www.tatasechallenge.org. The applicants may or may not be Indian nationals; however, the social venture should be aimed at creating social impact in India.

The ventures will be judged on three parameters – Business Model, Social Impact andSustainability. There is no restriction on the business model, and it can be for-profit, not-for-profit or even hybrid,but it necessarily is required to demonstrate significant social impact through results or proof of concept. Impact Proposals (detailed Business Plans) are invited in the areas of education, health, agriculture, energy, technology, housing, handicrafts and microfinance, amongst others. The last day to submit the Impact Proposalonline is January 20th, 2013. The challengealso invites people to nominate, through the initiative’s website, social enterprises they know.

The Challenge will have three rounds.
1.    Round 1 – Teams will need to submit Impact Proposalsonline in the format specified.
2.    Semi-final Round – A maximum of twenty teams selected from Round 1 will go through a 3-week mentorship program that includes mentorship at the IIM Calcutta campus. These teams will pitch to a panel of esteemed judges consisting of Social Venture Capitalists, Social Entrepreneurs, Tata leaders and faculty from IIM Calcutta.
3.    The Grand Finale – From the semi-finalists, a maximum of ten teams will be selected for the Grand Finale. These teams will pitch to a panel of esteemed judges, consisting of Business Leaders from Tata Group, CEOs/Founders of Social VC funds, Social Entrepreneurs and faculty from IIM Calcutta.

Logo_TSECAccording to Mr. Atul Agrawal, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Tata Services,“The Tata Group is known for pioneering ventures, and continuously endeavours to foster leadership and entrepreneurship through various initiatives. In line with the Group’s ethos of commitment to society, the ‘Tata Social Enterprise Challenge’ is a new initiative, to recognise promising ventures in the field of social entrepreneurship and provide them with a platform that offers them an opportunity to grow.”

Prof. Ashok Banerjee, Dean (New Initiatives and External Relations), IIM Calcutta says, “Responding to societal needs is one of the core institutional values of IIM Calcutta. IIM Calcutta has always encouraged its students to pursue their interest in entrepreneurship in the social sector and take up the role of flag bearers for innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. The institute expects this initiative to serve as an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to engage themselves in socially-relevant initiatives and also familiarise themselves with the work that various organisations are doing in the social sector in a sustainable manner.”

The challenge will culminate in February 2013 with a summit on social entrepreneurship at IIM Calcutta, where the winners will be felicitated. In addition to mentorship, investment opportunities, incubation opportunities and cash awards, during the course of the initiative, the finalists of ‘Tata Social Enterprise Challenge’ will receive continued support from IIM Calcutta, post the event, through cells on campus including Entrepreneurship-cell (Mentorship Support) and INCA (Pro-bono Consulting).

The Tata Group
The Tata Group comprises over 100 operating companies in seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. The Group has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents, and its companies export products and services to 85 countries. The total revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $100.09 billion (around Rs475,721crore) in 2011-12, with 58 percent of this coming from business outside India. Tata companies employ over 450,000 people worldwide. The Tata name has been respected in India for more than 140 years for its adherence to strong values and business ethics. Every Tata company or enterprise operates independently.

The Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC) was established as the first national institute for Post-Graduate studies and Research in Management by the Government of India in November 1961 in collaboration with Alfred P. Sloan School of Management (MIT), the Government of West Bengal, The Ford Foundation and Indian industry. Over the years, IIMC has grown into a mature institution with global reputation, imparting high quality management education. The mission of the Institute is to develop innovative and ethical future leaders capable of managing change and transformation in a globally competitive environment and to advance the theory and practice of management.  Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) is one of the centers of excellence established by IIMC to achieve greater understanding of an effective mechanism for promotion of professional management practices in Indian organizations, as well as to stimulate the development of these organizations for societal benefit.


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