Muhammad Yunus and IIM-A to float Rs 50 crore fund to seed social business

yunusProfessor Muhammad Yunus, the father of microfinance and chairman of the Yunus Centre in Bangladesh is partnering with IIM-A to float a Rs 50-crore fund to seed social ventures.

He will help raise the corpus and mentor social entrepreneurs. The CIIE and Yunus will collaborate to create a strong mentoring network, an incubation program to be designed by GCL (Grameen Creative Lab) to help entrepreneurs identify and build viable social business options, reports ET.

Will this model take off, i.e. corporates investing in BoP innovation? “Rich industrialists in India prefer charity than investing in business without any return expectations,” says Vineet Rai, founder and CEO of Aavishkaar.

Moreover, beyond seed stage – do we have investors who want to invest in such social businesses (Series A)?

In the past, we have profiled several such social innovations, but most of these entrepreneurs are lost in the world of investors and eventually give up on the idea, as commercializing an idea takes more effort than what one would have imagined. For instance, apart from design skills, you need to get the products tested in different conditions and that needs access to several industrial labs, which is difficult to get through unless you have contacts.

What’s your take on feasibility of funds related to social ventures?

Recommended Video: Ashwin Naik founder of Vaatsalya Healthcare Solutions, sharing how they raised funding for their social venture.

Recommended series: Social Entrepreneurship in India

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