Entrepreneurship for a social cause

Social entrepreneurship is about pursuing and implementing an innovative idea that has the potential to solve a community problem and instil a deep sense of satisfaction.

By Our Correspondent in Jamshedpur
  • Published 29.01.18
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IGNITING MINDS: Father E Abraham addresses the inaugural ceremony of social entrepreneurship conclave at XLRI in Jamshedpur on Sunday. Picture by Bhola Prasad

Jamshedpur: Social entrepreneurship is about pursuing and implementing an innovative idea that has the potential to solve a community problem and instil a deep sense of satisfaction.

Nine social entrepreneurs shared their challenges and success stories at the first Social Entrepreneurship Conclave at XLRI on Sunday to inspire students to take the road less taken.

The event was organised by SIGMA (Social Initiative Group for Managerial Assistance), a students' society of the premier B-school.

XLRI director Father E. Abraham, dean (academics) Ashis K. Pani and senior faculty member Madhukar Shukla were among those present at the inaugural ceremony.

"XLRI has organised this conclave to facilitate discussion in the development sector as a responsible member of the society. As Mahatma Gandhi said 'be the change you want to see in the world,'" Father Abraham said while addressing the inauguration.

The first session - on becoming a social entrepreneur - was addressed by founder of Kaushalya Foundation (Patna) Kaushalendra, founder and CEO of Think Zone (Bhubaneswar) Binayak Acharya and co-founder of DeHaat (Patna) Amrendra Singh.

Kaushlaya, whose non-profit venture aims to bring about the socio-economic empowerment of small and marginal farmers in Bihar, shared how the concept of forming a company of farmers was a revolutionary idea in 2007. After a decade of hard work, Kaushalya Foundation has helped over 20,000 farmers learn the skills necessary to earn in a competitive market. It has helped farmers create a proper supply chain management to help them get a good price for their products.

"Before 2007, nobody believed that a group of farmers can be institutionalised or can make their own decisions. With lot of interventions, we have evolved them as change agents who take care of their produce and packaging through the application of technologies. The journey wasn't easy but it was worth it. There is a sense of satisfaction when you can make communities aware of something and make their lives better in the process," Kaushalendra said.

The second session on "mobilising support and resources" discussed ways to make young ventures sustainable by garnering support from stakeholders and resources.

The speakers were president of Sankalp Foundation (Jamshedpur) Shivendra Srivastava, founder of People for Change (Jamshedpur) Souvik Saha and founder of Bakul Foundation (Bhubaneswar) Sujit Mahapatra.

The third session on "issues and challenges in creating a market" was addressed by Avika Online (Ranchi) founder Malavika Sharma; Lifecraft (Jamshedpur) founder Sourabh Mahato and co founder and CEO of Onergy (Calcutta) Piyush Jaju.

"The conclave is about entrepreneurs who have leveraged the possibilities in the development sector and created successful and impactful ventures to make a difference in the lives of others. This conclave aims to bring some such social entrepreneurs on a common platform to learn from their experiences," said Mad the key person behind initiating social entrepreneurship conference and its culture among XLRI students.