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Let’s ask any entrepreneur the question: Why does your business exist? Their answers will get bucketed in only two Justplainandsimple™ reasons and in this order: 1) Creating Value for the customer: Only if the customers see value, will more of them buy your products and services (n); more frequently (f) and pay you more (p). The cumulative product of these is Revenue (R) i.e. n X f X p. So, value creation is a necessary condition !! 2) Creating ROI for the Owner: If the entrepreneur does not make a return on his/her resources, there is no reason for them to be in...

I graduated from the Government Medical College in Guwahati (Assam) in the summer of 2007 as an ophthalmologist. I was confident that I would start a successful eye care practice in Upper Assam, in my hometown Jorhat. But, starting an eye care practice requires considerable investment, so I opted to start in a corporate hospital at first. The patients were rich, could afford anything, and my paycheck was not something to complain about. It was not long, before I realized that treating high profile patients was not always a piece of cake. Many times, you not only treat the patient, but...

Fourteen innovative social ventures have been selected as the winners of the 2014 NSDC Innovations for Skills Challenge (NISC), a national competition that aimed to identify and support sustainable and scalable entities that will positively impact the skill development space in India. In addition to the opportunity to receive funding up to, but not limited to, Rs. 3 crore through debt investment, the winners were rewarded with introductions to industry experts and business leaders, access to discounted working spaces, a six-month mentorship with TiE and national visibility.   The NISC 2014 received an overwhelming response with 172 applications from different parts of India....

Members of the Ennovent Circle, the Ennovent Impact Investment Holding and Upaya Social Ventures, closed a seed investment round in Delhi based Anant Learning & Development. This investment in Anant is the eight investment facilitated by the Ennovent Circle – an exclusive group that collaborates to accelerate innovations for low-income markets – since its launch three years ago. It is also the fourth investment made by Ennovent’s Impact Investment Holding. Upaya’s support of Anant Learning has been made possible by LAF: Creative Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy fund that invests in employment and empowerment initiatives that provide vulnerable youth around the world...

With the impending announcement of the Sardar Patel National Housing Mission, which has received cabinet approval and is ready to be announced pending inputs on the rural dimension of affordable housing, the issue of low-cost housing has acquired significant visibility. However, beyond focusing national attention on the issue, to actually implement the ambitious goal of housing for all will require the National Housing Mission to streamline the multiple existing policies that support low-cost housing and to implement the main recommendations of the Ministry of Housing Taskforce, in particular by creating a separate category for affordable housing developers who can avail...

The Ennovent Circle is an exclusive community of impact investors, specialist service providers and mentors that collaborates to accelerate innovations for low-income markets. In this monthly series we highlight one of our Circle members and ask them five questions about their work in low-income markets and their insights about the sector.   For our latest post in this series we spoke to serial entrepreneur and angel investor Sumantra Roy.  He is the Co-Founder & CEO of Learning Yogi, which is developing a game-based learning platform to help underprivileged children teach themselves. Another of Sumantra’s ventures, formed in association with Dr....

Education may not always be thought of as a segment where much innovation can happen, but there is a growing interest among entrepreneurs to innovate and provide inspirational education experiences and a new breed of innovative social enterprises are emerging that focus on this area. These maybe in schools where content formats are enhanced to create new and modern learning experiences, or in vocational projects enabling skill development; aided by technology and innovation.   However, the road ahead to success is extremely tough and difficult; replete with failures and few successes. This is primarily because of the nature of this segment, which...

The continued growth of low-income markets has meant that a vast number of business plan competitions and grants have been established to find and select high potential solutions in the form of both products and services for these communities. Ennovent’s Discover expertise enables clients to identify and select a wide range of globally distributed solutions to solve sustainability challenges, increase market share or develop a strong investment pipeline.   However, most competitions within the space defer only to experts in the selection of ‘winners’. While experts are valuable, the local end-users of the products must also be involved for the selection of...

The world’s population reached 6 billion people in 1999 and is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2025. This population trajectory means that from now to 2030, the world will need to build the equivalent of a city of 1 million people every five days in developing countries.   Close to one trillion people in the world do not have sufficient food for a healthy and active life. Therefore, going forward, farmers must necessarily produce more food per unit of land. However, in order to do so, they simply cannot keep producing in the same ways. They will need to do so...

In this week’s roundup we detail additional investment received by a Power to Empower Challenge finalist, share the outcome report from a sanitation workshop and the importance of solving disabilities in India.   The winner in the Idea category of the 2013 Power to Empower Challenge – which was managed by Ennovent – Tamul Plates Marketing Pvt Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount of follow-on investment from Upaya Social Ventures and Artha Initiative to augment its operations across the North-eastern region. Assam-based Tamul Plates focuses on generating rural livelihoods by producing and marketing biodegradable dinnerware. They also provide technical support and financial...