I dive deep into what makes a business successful, an entrepreneur worth millions of dollars and an investor write a cheque. Perched on my small post in Mumbai, I write mainly on entrepreneurs, start-ups, innovation, venture capital and private equity investors and unlisted firms. While following the world of business for Forbes India as Editor, Enterprise, I intend to use this space to share observations from the other side of the entrepreneurial world, where disruption, gumption and courage can take one a long way.
The NASSCOM Social Innovation Forum (NSIF), a platform that aims to drive technology-led innovation for the Base of the pyramid (BoP) population, is hopeful of impacting 1 billion lives by 2020. The NSIF programme was instituted by NASSCOM Foundation in 2008, and has attracted more than 1,000 innovative projects from NGOs, corporate, social enterprises, government bodies, PSUs, students and individuals.
On Wednesday, it announced this year’s winners, choosing 11 projects from more than 1,200 entries. The technology-led social innovations received grants of Rs 70 lakh and mentorship.
The 11 projects were selected across various categories, including primary and secondary education, skills and employability, women’s empowerment, youth innovators, among others. The winners are: vChalk Education, CFBT Education Services, Humana People to People India, Educate Girls, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, Rankskills Knowledge International, Innovision, Sohum Innovation Labs, Sukhibhava Healthcare Solutions, OnionDev Technologies and Haqdarshak.
“In a complex world, with increasingly complex problems, technology seems to be the only hope to bring the social solutions to fruition by providing them the reach and amplifying their impact,” says Dr Ganesh Natarajan, chairman, NASSCOM Foundation.
NASSCOM Foundation, across its various programmes, is expected to offer grants of as much as Rs 20 crore in 2016, compared to Rs 3 crore last year.