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Choosing the road less taken
- XLRI students intern at social entrepreneurship firms

Growth is actually at the bottom of the pyramid.

At a time when most B-school graduates aim for plum corporate jobs, a bunch of XLRI students has chosen social entrepreneurship.

As many as 25 pupils of the premier management cradle are doing week-long internships at various social organisations across the country.

These offbeat internships aim to help students pursuing an optional module on social entrepreneurship at XLRI, to get practical experience of the grassroots challenges involved in the field.

The internships are from September 1 to September 7.

ďThe purpose of the course is not restricted to teaching students about social entrepreneurship. Rather, we aim to help them take up the responsibility associated with becoming such an entrepreneur. We aim to assist them in seeking viable solutions to any form of social problem. They can implement them if they want to do so,Ē said Madhukar Shukla, professor of strategy and organisational behaviour at XLRI.

The 15 social enterprises that the aspiring entrepreneurs have chosen include Anudip Foundation, Calcutta; Detours, Hyderabad; Empower Pragati, Delhi; Selco Incubation, Bangalore; Gyan, Chandigarh; HarVa, Delhi; Pratham, Delhi; and V-shesh, Chennai.

As the thrust area of each outfit is different, the exact nature of the internship varies in every enterprise. While some outfits want students to compile a short project or other forms of documentation, others involve field visits and talks with various stakeholders.

Students neither get stipend for such internships, nor grades. However, they still opt for them in a bid to gather hands-on experience.

ďI am sensitive towards these issues so social entrepreneurship was a natural choice. The internship has helped me a lot in understanding aspects like finance and primary research that I could not have mastered through classroom lessons,Ē said second-year human resource management student Adarsh Gopi, who is interning with Chennai-based outfit V-shesh.

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