Of the 100 ambitious enterprises catering to low-income Indian markets that applied for the Artha Venture Challenge (AVC) 2014 – a national competition aimed at providing the best socially focused ventures access to mentoring, connections and funding –11 ventures have been selected to be a part of the final cohort.
The enterprises shortlisted to be a part of the AVC 2014 final cohort are Artoo, Ecozen Solutions, Gram Mooligai, Janta Meals, Krishi Star, Parvata Foods, Sampurnearth Environmental Solutions, Students Fuel Consultants, Swajal, Thulir Learning Solutions and uber Diagnostics.
These finalists will now receive the opportunity to access INR 30 lakh of equity funding, if matched by the same in co-investment within the next eight months. This co-investment must also be in the form of equity. The above finalists will also receive extensive capacity building support including exposure to investors, entrepreneurs, specialists and business leaders and access to legal support.
To ensure that the final cohort are able to secure the external round of funding necessary to access the matched round of INR 30 lakh, Villgro will now closely work with each enterprise to provide them customised support.
This backing will enable the finalists to build a compelling growth story by providing access to expert mentors, facilitating exposure to a closed network of impact investors, offering investment readiness support and profiling them as one of the most high-potential social entrepreneurs in India.
“We are delighted to welcome these eleven organisations on board with the Artha Venture Challenge process,”Audrey Selian, Director, Artha Platform and the newly formed Artha Networks Inc. “We hope over the next months our interaction with these ventures will see them securing the match funding required to draw down the AVC funds and in so doing move substantially towards increasing their scale and impact of their activities on Base of the Pyramid communities across India.”
Currently, many high-potential social ventures fail because of an inability to access the funding and resources required to grow operations and scale impact. The AVC2014, which invited entrepreneurs past the proof-of-concept stage and are seeking growth investment, aims to address this missing middle in social finance by providing access to high-risk patient capital and customised business support.