Villgro wants to invest in 60 social enterprises this year, more than double the India-based incubator’s 29 investments from last year, reports The Economic Times.
This is made possible thanks to new funding of approximately Rs 50 crore (US$8.2 million) by the UK government’s Department for International Development, which aims to end extreme poverty.
Villgro is known for investing in early-stage social enterprises that positively impact rural India and the poor. Besides incubation, Villgro runs a number of unique programs. For example, the Villgro Fellowship matches skilled professionals to social enterprises. Over the last five years, 62 percent of Villgro Fellows have elected to stay in the social enterprise sector. The newer entrepreneur-in-residence program is a one-year program helping promising entrepreneurs successfully launch new ventures.
COO PR Ganapathy says that Villgro will invest in various stages from ideas to companies “16 to 18 months old” to those that “have shown some traction”. It is budgeting Rs 10 crore (US$1.6 million) this year and will spend the money over the next five years.
Ganapathy adds that the company, with offices in Chennai, Mumbai, and New Delhi, will aim to partner with local incubators in Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, and West Bengal who will work with chosen social enterprises in those states.
Social Enterprise Buzz is a media company dedicated to covering social enterprise news from around the world. We publish a range of stories from startups to entrepreneurship, innovation, and finance, which showcase business making the world a better place. Read more.