After creating ripples in the impact ecosystem last year, Villgro, India’s oldest and one of the world’s largest social enterprise incubators, is set to kickstart the upcoming financial year by announcing several new partnerships. The incubator invested in 21 agribusiness, education and healthcare companies last year, many of which were sourced through iPitch, its annual national sourcing program. Deepening the focus on the 8 low income states of India, 127 investments were made through one of the world’s largest social innovation programmes, INVENT, that Villgro runs with support from the Technology Development Board, Govt. of India and the DFID, UK Government.
Villgro is known for its unique incubation model focusing on deep sectoral expertise and high touch mentoring, and 2018 saw the launch of deep expertise in a new sector – Renewable Energy. In partnership with GIZ, the incubator supported 50 early stage energy access companies and is going to expand that pool by partnering with UNDP.
While Villgro has always been supported by key names in the funding community, FY 2018-19 saw a paradigm shift with many corporates engaging in CSR partnerships with Villgro for BoP social impact. Some critical partnerships of the year:
- With Accenture to scale up ventures working on skilling and employability related challenges.
- With Hindustan Unilever Foundation to focus on incubating startups managing water use in agriculture and improve efficiencies across farming.
- With Rabobank to support agri-tech startups working to reduce food loss and improve supply chain efficiencies.
- With Yes Bank YES Scale accelerator programme to support startups connect with large corporations and commercialise innovations.
With continued partner support, Villgro has impacted over 19 million underprivileged lives so far, and many more to go.
The upcoming year looks exciting for Villgro, where the plan is to incubate and invest in more companies through an even bigger iPitch programme in July-August, to provide them follow-on support through the Villgro – Menterra platform, and expand markets for them by leveraging its presence in Kenya, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Organisations looking to partner can reach out to Villgro at [email protected] and be the catalysing agents for creating large scale social impact.