I recently moderated an impact investing panel called, “Market Return vs Muted Return: To each his own.” at the India Impact Investment Conclave in Delhi. While preparing for the event, my first thought was that the impact investing industry has been having the same debate for the last 10 years, with no agreement.
Program: Family Economic Stability
NEW DELHI – November 03, 2016 — Village Capital, a leading global venture development organization, has concluded its three-month venture development program—Education India 2016—aimed at making early-stage Indian education startups more investment ready. Funded by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Education India 2016 program identified 10 innovative, high-quality, early-stage enterprises that are helping … Continued
We implore early-stage investors to lead the way to a new era of impact investing—one that sees an uptick in the calculated risks investors will take on entities with the potential to improve India’s education system.
For our own investments, we have stringent requirements for quality, low-income client focus, financial viability and scalability. In 2012, we began evaluating for-profit investment opportunities using the same yardstick as for the non-profit investments we’d made in the education sector since 2006.
With 250 million Indian children enrolled in schools, there’s an enormous opportunity for private enterprises focused on providing services to the critical K-12 segment. As we’ve witnessed a slow, steady increase in the number of private enterprises involved in India’s education sector, it’s baffling that so few private companies have thrived in a country in such desperate need of quality education options.
Our very first investment was successfully listed on the Indian stock exchanges two weeks ago. When the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation started making impact investments in 2006, several things which we take for granted today, were big unknowns and considered high risk at that time.
The NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) will be setting up a start-up incubator exclusively to nurture early stage non-profit organizations. Housed inside IIMB’s NSRCEL, this non-profit incubator will select and nurture at least five early-stage organizations over the next two years, helping them become world-class non-profits that deliver impact and become magnets for talent and funding. IIMB has partnered with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to help launch the incubator, and the foundation will be providing IIMB a grant to support this initiative.
Nothing captures the diversity and depth of our work in India better than the stories of our partners. Since 2006, we have worked with close to 100 organizations, primarily in urban India, to transform the lives of children and families living in urban poverty.
One of the questions we are continuously grappling with is how to maximize the impact of our giving. We want to know that the products or services we are investing in actually meet the needs of beneficiaries. To this end, we are learning that the market can serve as a powerful mechanism to ensure that products or services are responsive to and meet the needs of beneficiaries.
Everyone working to address social complex challenges operates in a world of “wicked problems”. We’ve learned that for transformation to take hold, we must partner with the smartest and brightest problem solvers who are equally passionate about our mission.
iMerit’s delivery center in Baruipur, a low-income suburb of Kolkata, is located in an unassuming two- story building. There is little about the neighborhood or the building itself that gives you any clues as to what is hidden inside. The Baruipur center – and four other centers like it in east Indian cities – employs hundreds of young men and women and provides on-demand digital data services to leading internet companies in the world.