Tata Social Enterprise Challenge Is Back In Its Quest To Find Social Innovators

Mentorship, funding opportunity, incubation and cash awards part of the programme. – BR New Delhi Bureau

Tata Group, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM Calcutta), has announced the 9th edition of Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2020-2021to find India’s most promising early-stage social innovators. The challenge is a platform to identify social entrepreneurs to build sustainable, scalable and measurable social impact. Since its inception the platform has witnessed overwhelming response with participation from over 2000 innovators.

An additional element of this challenge – Tata Social Enterprise E-Hackathon, an online contest for college students to share a solution for a specific social challenge, will also commence along with the main challenge. This year’s theme for the e-hackathon will be around the COVID-19 response.

As a new element to the programme this year, a seed-fund corpus is being established by IIM Calcutta Innovation Park supported by the Tata group along with Sangam Ventures and Upaya Social Ventures. This seed fund will be administered by the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park.  Those applicants that qualify for the semi-finals of the main challenge, will be eligible to apply for the seed fund pool which will be decided by an accomplished Jury after multiple rounds of pitching.

This challenge is open for teams who either have an early stage venture (not older than three years) or a promising idea with a plan that can create sustainable social impact in India.

They can submit their business plans online, by logging onto www.tatasechallenge.org. Impact Proposals (detailed Business Plans) are invited in the areas of agriculture, food and dairy, healthcare, water and sanitation, technology and development, education& skills development, housing, handicrafts, energy, and microfinance/financial inclusion. The ventures will be judged on three parameters – Business Model, Social Impact, and Sustainability.

The Challenge invites the public to nominate, social enterprises that they know of and who fit the eligibility criteria. The last day to submit the Impact Proposal (business plan) online is 15th November, 2020. Through this challenge, selected social entrepreneurs will be offered mentorship support, funding opportunities and an opportunity to pitch for incubation at the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park.

Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons, said, “The Tata Social Enterprise Challenge provides a platform for emerging social entrepreneurs who want to create a positive impact and are on a mission to find solutions for real world problems. Businesses are increasingly structured in an ecological, economic and social sustainability framework and the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge endeavours to create an ecosystem where such businesses can take seed and flourish.

Early stage social enterprises with plans to create sustainable social impact in India are given an opportunity to showcase their concepts and receive mentorship and support from social entrepreneurs and social venture capitalists”.

Subhrangshu Sanyal, CEO IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, said, “The Tata Social Enterprise Challenge is an excellent platform to inspire and support aspiring social innovators to take up entrepreneurship as a career option, as well as provide the much-needed visibility, incubation, funding and networking support to early stage social entrepreneurs.

As a part of the Challenge, multiple webinars were held on various themes related to social entrepreneurship to inspire youth to take up social entrepreneurship as a career option. The Challenge also leverages interactive digital and social media platforms such as Tata Social Enterprise Challenge website (www.tatasechallenge.org), Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to create and disseminate knowledge about the status of Social Entrepreneurship in India.

Box –

20 teams will be selected for semi-finals and will be provided mentorship support.
Funding Opportunity
Shortlisted teams for the semi-finals and finals will have an opportunity to pitch to India’s largest impact investors for seed funding.
The finalists will get a chance to pitch for incubation at the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park.
Cash Awards
The total prize money is Rs 6lakhs for the top three teams.