Varanasi: A platform of resources and mentorship to skill local young business aspirants and scale up their potential to promote self-sustaining entrepreneurship with a social impact was launched here on Friday.
A collaborative venture of the Deshpande Foundation with Ek Soch Foundation, a social initiative of the Delhi-based Spice Mobility Ltd, "Ek Soch Sandbox" is a platform for the youth to develop a business model that funds itself while seeking to serve a social cause.
"We want to encourage a new model of entrepreneurship with a social impact. Our idea of combining social good with entrepreneurship is to bring in an aspect of sustainable social business," Spice Mobility Ltd managing director Dilip Modi said.
"This business is not about profit, it's about surplus that be reinvested to scale... to create a source of income within the project itself. Make it self-sustaining," he added.
Modeled on the Deshpande Foundation's Hubballi Sandbox in Karnataka, the one in Varanasi - part of the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi - called on local boys and girls as well as in six other districts across Uttar Pradesh to showcase their business ideas leading to sustainable development.
As many as 25 such projects were showcased during the launch at Indian Institute of Technology-Banaras Hindu University campus, and they would ow be reviwed by the two collaborators for prospective funding. About 47 more are in the pipeline.
"We want to collect such ideas first and develop a critical mass and then out of that, we will give them support and system... provide them seed capital," said CEO Naveen Jha of the Deshpande Foundation that seeks to promote entrepreneurship as a catalyst for sustainable change for economic development.
"Dawaiwala.com", one such project under making, intends to connect patients with specific ailments to the right doctor through a website and also deliver the medicine to their doorstep.
As an initiative for social development, a team of two students from Lucknow, who provided old clothes to over 50 pavements dwellers exposed to the chill, want to engage a chain of boys and girls in a collection drive for old clothes and their distribution among the needy.
"All these ideas die if they (the entrepreneur) don't know how to run the organisation. We want to be ignorant towards the problem side (of a social issue)... let's identify what are the good solutions and how we can build a scalable organization (for the entrepreneur)," Jha said.
Still nascent, the Ek Soch Sandbox will develop and identify the nature and scope of resources only once the projects to be funded are finalised, Modi said.