Social Start-Up fellowship, the flagship programme of the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) India, helps passionate individuals create social impact through their entrepreneurial ventures. SSE India, an initiative supported by PwC and British Council India, felicitated 16 such social entrepreneurs for completing their 9-month journey on 15 December 2016. These fellows are working in myriad areas from healthcare, livelihood generation, tobacco cessation, to skill development, water and sanitation.
Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge), PMO, presented the graduation address at the event in the presence of Jaivir Singh, Chairperson SSE India, Deepak Kapoor, PwC India Chairman, and St. John Gould, Director-UK Trade and Economics, British High Commission, India, Ness Wadia, SSE India Board Member, Richard Everitt, Director-Education & Society, British Council India, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Anurag Thakur, and Malvinder M. Singh.
SSE globally has played a quintessential role by supporting social entrepreneurs in realising their social purpose. Ever since its launch in India earlier this year, SSE India has taken the legacy forward with the endeavour to bridge the current need in the social enterprise ecosystem by focusing on the individual.
Lauding the efforts made by the school, Minister Singh said, “It is gratifying to note the growth of the SSE India and the ‘Social Start-Up’ Fellowship Programme launched earlier this year. Their journey of success is appreciable. It is the spirit of entrepreneurial people brimming with passion to bring social change, that innovations and new solutions to address some of the fundamental challenges of our country. I extend my heartiest congratulations to the 16 budding social entrepreneurs who have completed SSE India Fellowship programme.”
Sharing SSE’s vision, Jaivir Singh, said, “While, the social enterprise ecosystem is evolving in India with support organisations providing direct, indirect, financial, and advisory assistance to social enterprises, there is a gap for a Learning Programme that focusses on the entrepreneur. This is where SSE India’s flagship ‘Social Start-Up’ Fellowship Programme harnesses the potential of such passionate individuals. SSE’s purpose in India is to address issues of inequality; exclusion and social justice by helping individuals use entrepreneurship to contribute to a better society.”
Kapoor of PwC India added: “When SSE launched its flagship programme -Social Start-Up Fellowship here in India in April 2016, we were very glad to have the opportunity to extend support to it. This positive experience has PwC supporting one full cohort of Fellows once again in 2017. If more corporates come forward to partner SSE India, it would make a significant difference in bringing about social change within India going ahead.”
Many of the SSE Fellows work at an impressive scale, serving low-income households and transforming their quality of life. Among these, Navya Tarang Foundation, in Chandigarh, focuses on primary healthcare for urban poor while Gramshree Development Services is a Pan-India project focusing on providing innovative marketing solutions to promote organic produce of tribal farmers. Smile Express, works on the issues of oral health and tobacco cessation in Rajasthan through a mobile dental hospital.
Rakesh Gupta, who founded ‘Gramshree’, said: “My work gained momentum with the backing I got from SSE and the tools that were provided to me. As part of our venture, we collected Custard apples and extracted pulp from the fruits, thereby, resulting in an average increase of 30% in the farmer’s income compared to their current levels of earning. This was one of the biggest quantifiable results of SSE’s efforts in my project.”
The graduation event is a milestone for SSE India. The evening highlighted the pertinence of SSE as a platform providing social innovators the launch pad to build, strengthen and expand their idea.