There are many examples of Business plan competitions held in India which helps to identify entrepreneurs to take new ideas to the market. The focus of most BPCs has changed from connecting venture capitals and entrepreneurs to connecting social venture capitals and social entrepreneurs. The prevalent BPCs also tend to focus on ventures which are mature and need growth capital rather than seed capital.
However, there has been no focus on enterprises impacting rural poor as a particular segment of society and on sectors Agriculture, Water, Energy, Dairy and Villgro aims at bringing this focus through Wantrapreneur.
Wantrapreneur aims to discover people with innovative and entrepreneurial minds looking at market based models to serve the rural poor. The idea was conceived with the vision of providing social entrepreneurs a window to showcase their innovative product/ service models and to provide a supportive environment in order to enable an idea to reach the market and impact thousands of lives. The key sectoral focus for this business plan competition would be Agriculture, Energy, Water and Dairy with a special emphasis on market segments that target the rural poor.
The primary motive of Wantrapreneur is to provide innovative Social Entrepreneurs focusing on Agriculture, Water, Energy and Dairy with a platform of support and mentoring, enabling them to service the rural poor. Wantrapreneur will attract both product and service based business plans and will seek entries from entrepreneurs in the Start-up and Early Growth phases.
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Separate entries will be invited from entrepreneurs who are in the agriculture sector in both the phases while other sectors – water, energy and dairy will be clubbed and evaluated together.
The finalists will be invited for a mentoring session in November on how to make an effective pitch.
The finalists of Wantrapreneur make a final pitch on 2nd December to a jury comprising of people from the investor fraternity. The winners will be recognized and awarded a cash prize upto Rs.1.5 lakhs in each category at the Grand Finale and will have chance to receive incubation support from Villgro provided other incubation criteria are met.
Wantraprenuer 09 had close to 100 applicants. 10 were shortlisted and invited for a mentoring session before they made their final pitch to the Jury.
Villgro transforms rural lives by identifying and incubating innovative product and service ideas. Since inception in 2001, Villgro has activated close to 2000 innovations and impacted more than 3.6 lakh rural lives. Villgro actively promotes social entrepreneurship and works with different stakeholders to create and support an eco-system that enables this. The mass transformation movement spawned by Villgro, has a singular objective: to create a prosperous rural India, buzzing with ideas for growth.
For more on Villgro visit: http://www.villgro.org