India’s gig economy is scaling newer heights thanks to the surge of innovative start-ups and young entrepreneurs who are changing the rules of how businesses functioned. These young achievers do not only dream to achieve big in life, but they also nurture their passion to resolve the social inequities gripping our country. India too is in much need of this new breed of Sociopreneurs to come out with unconventional business models to address the environmental and social issues.
Being an entrepreneur in itself is challenging, and addressing a social cause through it is undoubtedly going to make the journey more difficult. As social entrepreneurs in India, you are on a mission to generate business for a social cause. Their work is to implement a low-cost business solution for socio-causes while dealing with the shortage of funds, manpower, resources and many more. The hurdles in the way are endless but the idea to transform lives for collective good is the driving force that helps such social entrepreneurs in India to navigate the turbulent waters of social entrepreneurship.
If you are wondering who these new-age heroes are, here is the list of the most renowned social entrepreneurs in India to watch out for!
1. URVASHI SAHNI
Talking about the best of social entrepreneurs in India, Urvashi Sahni definitely tops the list. She is the founder and CEO of SHEF (Study Hall Education Foundation), an organization dedicated to offering education to the most disadvantaged girls in India. Urvashi Sahni has worked with over 900 schools and changed the life of 150,000 girls (directly) and 270,000 girls (indirectly) with her program. She was rightly felicitated with the ‘Social Entrepreneur Of The Year‘ award in 2017 for her selfless act of dedication and passion.
2. HARISH HANDE
Harish Hande is another pioneering social entrepreneur of India and a remarkable committed one. He is the CEO & Founder of Selco, a company rendering sustainable energy source to rural regions of the country. This project was the first rural solar financing program in India. Till date, Selco has contributed over 120,000 installations and has more than 25 operating retail and service centres in Karnataka alone.
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3. JEROO BILLMORIA
Jeroo Billmoria is one of the renowned social entrepreneurs of India who is supervising several International NGOs for the betterment of society. She initiated the ‘Childline’ that aims to provide help in form of healthcare and police assistance, especially to street children. Right from her childhood, she had a vision of giving back to the underprivileged in the society. She also believed in self-empowerment of women in India. Jeroo Billmoria was felicitated with the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and is a Schwab and Ashoka Fellow as well.
4. ANSHU GUPTA
Born in a middle-class family in Uttar Pradesh, took media as a profession and while as an intern he witnessed the need of proper clothing for the poor in rural India. Anshu then founded Goonj, a social enterprise that collects used clothing from the urban crowd, sort them, fix and later distribute among the poor and needy. The relief work was done by Goonj during the times of natural calamities in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been highly acknowledged.
5. SANTOSH PARULEKAR
Santosh Parulekar worked to create job opportunities for the unemployed youth in rural India. He started ‘Pipal Tree’, a company that aims to impart formal training to the youth and provides them with reputable jobs in companies across the country. Operating since 2007, Pipal Tree has trained over 1,500 workers and intends to open training centres pan India in the coming years.
6. SUMITA GHOSE
Sushmita Ghosh is the founder of Ashoka Changemakers, an open-ended platform for social innovation that was one-of-its-kind in the world. Sushmita aims to revive the craftsmanship and talent that is unharnessed in rural India and aims to provide them with their deserving recognition. She started with ‘Rangasutra’, a retail chain from FabIndia and it turned out to be a huge success.
7. AJAITA SHAH
Ajaita Shah works with a mission to empower rural India. She started at the gross level and aims to provide the best of technological solutions to the remote villages in India at the cheapest price possible. Ajaita Shah is the Founder & CEO of Frontier Markets that supplies solar energy powered products to rural India at an extremely affordable cost. The company has sold over 10,000 solar solutions until now and there is no stopping them until they light the remotest corners of the country.
8. TRILOCHAN SHASTRY
Trilochan Shastry proved that nothing is impossible to achieve in this world if you have the zeal and fervour to pursue it. A renowned professor in IIM Bangalore, he was pained to the state of political affairs in the country. What started as a PIL against the politicians led to the foundation of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an organization that scrutinizes election procedure in India. Besides this Trilochan Shastry also heads NGOs for the upliftment of the farmers.
These top 8 social entrepreneurs in India are the ‘Knights in the Shining Armour’ who have pledged to bring about sustainable change in the society. They indeed are an inspiration to the society and this blog is an acknowledgement of the selfless work they have done!
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