Make a social impact

Make a social impact

With Anna’s anti-corruption movement and public sentiment for causes related to society’s benefit, there is increased interest in social entrepreneurship among youth of India. Social ventures are those businesses where social impact is the key outcome, and profits or market shares become the secondary objective.

Choose a cause: You will find various causes around you that you can work for, to impact lives positively. It can be microfinance like SKS or Svasti, educational trusts (numerous schools/colleges), healthcare like Swasth India or a public sanitation like Sulabh International. The aim is to identify a problem and come up with an innovative solution to the same.

Finance: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett (via Gates Foundation) and Michael Dell (via MSDF Foundation), are devoted to social causes. Other social venture capital funds like Acumen Fund look at social impact in addition to financial results. The other ways to raise funds for your social venture could be tap to CSR (corporate social responsibility) budgets and conduct fund raisers.

Legal issues: Social ventures can be registered like any other businesses as a private limited concern, or in other ways as a society, trust or Section 25 organisation. Make sure you have all your paper work (PAN, address proof, etc) in place before applying for registration. The costs are low but it takes patience. Section 80G for income tax exemption can be taken for saving your taxes, which will further enhance your longevity.

Traditional marketing techniques like TV and print may not work. It requires interaction, education and awareness programmes, building relationships with existing partners in the ecosystem (like Gram Panchayats in a village, Rotary Club in cities etc).

Sustainability: Most social ventures or NGOs fail to sustain or scale-up due to lack of funds, slow response to change from consumer’s side and mismanagement of operations. So try not to fall into these traps. Social ventures need to build sustainability. Ensure you have regular flow of funds through anchor sponsors, regular events, royalty through research reports and volunteers contribution.

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About the Author

Amit Grover, founder of, is an IIT Delhi and IIM Indore alumnus, having more than 12 years of industry experience. He started Nurture Talent Academy, and earlier worked with Infosys, Asian Paints, Onida and Mumbai Angels. He regularly blogs on AHA Taxis, his recent venture, offers one way outstation travel across India.

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