Risk-taking and creating lasting social impact with iMerit

One of our guiding principles here at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, “Take the Risks Your Challenge Deserves,” comes from an understanding that the greatest challenges require us to do things differently, to push the boundaries and be willing to take risks in order to realize greater impact.

Kinara Capital: Building financial inclusion for businesses in India

The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation invested in Kinara Capital as we strongly believe in the vision of its owner, Hardika Shah. Hardika believes in creating a financially inclusive community so that micro and small entrepreneurs, the core engine of job creation in India, have a chance at success.

i2e1: A step towards creating a more connected and engaged India

There is so much untapped potential in India. From skill development to urban microfinance, we’re working to improve the lives of those living in urban poverty by opening doors for them in new and innovative ways. This requires thinking outside the box, and it’s not always easy.

Blowhorn: Driving employment opportunities through efficient online logistics

The startup driving this revolution is Blowhorn—the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation’s latest investee. The foundation announced that it would invest $1.25 million in the organization earlier this month, together with IDG Ventures India and existing investors, Draper Associates and Unitus Seed Fund. Blowhorn plans to use this investment to expand to eight Indian cities and employ more than 25,000 truck drivers over the next 24 months.

Lesson three: Talent is critical for social enterprises

Most social ventures begin with minimal financial resources and do not always attract the best talent. To be successful, organizations need to invest in hiring the right team from the start. In our work in the education sector, test preparation startup Avanti used this approach to deliver coaching for competitive exams to low-income students.

Lesson two: Execution comes first for India’s social enterprises

Michael Dell once said, “Ideas are a commodity. Execution of them is not.” This is especially relevant for social enterprises that sell affordable products and services at small margins to low-income users. Scale, sustainability and replicability become crucial for the long-term success of such companies.