Opportunity for Socially Relevant MSMEs to Access Funding and Capacity Building.
Sankalp Forum (www.sankalpforum.com), a global platform for social enterprises, announced that it is now accepting applications for the Sankalp 2012 Awards. The awards will recognize emerging enterprises across 6 categories, including the newly launched South East Asia Award for the most innovative social enterprise in the region. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s) with a social impact focus, also known as ‘social enterprises’ are encouraged to apply in order to access finance and capacity building services. An initiative by the social advisory firm Intellecap, Sankalp Forum has connected over 400 enterprises and over 400 investors in the last three years.
Sankalp Awards 2012
Social enterprises aim to provide high quality yet affordable goods and services like healthcare, education, and financial services to the poor, thus creating social benefits while making a profit. Investors are increasingly backing these and using a new strategy called ‘impact investing’, that expects monetary as well as social returns. The profit opportunity for such businesses is estimated to be over INR 32 lac crores* over the next decade. As a clear validation of the power of social innovation these enterprises have, the Government of India announced an INR 1000 crore National Innovation Fund to support such ideas.
“With some amount of social as well as mainstream funding available for social enterprises, the key game changer is identifying and exposing the best entrepreneurs to these opportunities, and preparing them to take on the challenge of scale. This is the need gap that Sankalp Forum looks to fill through its annual awards. We’re especially excited about our South East Asia award, which is the first of its kind for the region.”, said K Sree Kumar, CEO of Intellecap.
The Sankalp Awards attract applications from the most innovative, scalable and sustainable enterprises across India. The applicants are then put through a vigorous jury process. In the past Sankalp jury members have included stalwarts like Prakash Bakshi, Chairman -NABARD, Vipul Mankad, President – SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd. and Mohanjit Jolly, Managing Director – DFJ India .
In 2012, the finalists will be supported through an intensive capacity building program, including a residential bootcamp. They will then be invited to pitch their ideas to investors at the annual Sankalp Summit from April 11 to 13, 2012 in Mumbai, which will have over 100 investors in attendance.
In a testament to its efficacy, in the past 3 years alone, over 25 Sankalp Award finalists have received investment. In fact, FINO and eHealthpoint, winners of the Sankalp Awards 2011 received investments from Blackstone Group and Fontus Water respectively, shortly after winning the award. Additionally, enterprises nominated for the Sankalp Awards also gain preferred access to other platforms. Ashwin Naik, CEO Vaatsalya Healthcare, said “If you are an enterpreneur in the social space, don’t miss the sankalp conference. Sankalp is the world economic forum for social enterprises”. Vaatsalya won the Sankalp Award in 2009, and in June this year received a third round of funding from Aquarius India and Seedfund.
Enterprises that meet the Sankalp Awards 2012 criteria are encouraged to apply before 30th November 2011.
For more details, please visit sankalpforum.com