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Tata Social Enterprise Challenge, organized jointly by IIM Calcutta and TATA Sons, aims to establish itself as a major event in the Indian Social Entrepreneurship space by bringing together social entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and members from the academia, industry and business and the whole bunch of social entrepreneurs to identify and promote sustainable ideas that impact the social sector.

“In line with the Group’s ethos of commitment to society, the ‘Tata Social Enterprise Challenge’ is a new initiative, to recognize promising ventures in the field of social entrepreneurship and provide them with a platform that offers them an opportunity to grow,” said Atul Agrawal, vice president, Corporate Affairs of Tata Services.

It is a unique initiative undertaken jointly by an educational institution and a business group, to promote the spirit of social entrepreneurship in India. It is also supported by some of the biggest Venture Capitalists in the social entrepreneurship space like Yunus Business Fund, Acumen fund and Ankur Capitalists.

The challenge started in 2012-13 with Impact Proposals being invited in the areas of agriculture, food and dairy, health care, water and sanitation, technology and development, education, housing, handicrafts, energy and microfinance / financial inclusion, among others. The winners of the competition were to receive mentorship support, funding and an opportunity to be incubated at IIM-C’s incubation centre.

In addition to the mentorship, investment opportunities, incubation opportunities and cash rewards, during the course of the initiative, the finalists of the Tata Social Enterprise challenge will receive continued support from IIMC, through cells on campus, including the entrepreneurship cell and INCA (pro-bono consulting). Speaking about the initiative, Prof Ashok Banerjee, the principal mentor of this event, IIMC said that responding to societal needs is one of the core institutional values of IIM Calcutta. “The institute expects this initiative to serve as an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to engage themselves in socially-relevant initiatives and also familiarize themselves with the work that various organizations are doing in the social sector in a sustainable manner,” he said.

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