Nominations Closed

Thanks for the tremendous response to the conference!
THE NOMINATIONS ARE CLOSED as from January 21st, 2012

1. Theme & Purpose

Indian economy recorded a fairly high GDP growth rate of 7.2% during 1998-2008. Notwithstanding the relatively high growth rate, over 25 crore rural population (45 million households) in the country remain locked in poverty. Govt of India estmates rural poverty ratio of about 42%. While the number of rural people living on less than Rs.50/-(US$1) a day decreased by 2.9 crores between 1981 and 2005, the number of rural people living on less than Rs.62.5 ($1.25) a day grew by 3.5 crore during the same period. The key challenge before the Indian economy today is to ensure that its growth becomes inclusive and contributes to a significant reduction in rural poverty.

The rural poor lack adequate access to financial services, commodity and goods markets, forcing them to be dependent on unorganized/informal commodity, goods and financial markets, and a sub-optimal utlisation of their investments and efforts. To fill this gap, during last few years, rural sector has not only opened up immense possibilities for entrepreneurship, but has also sprouted many innovative social entrepreneurial models.

Moreover, rejuvenation of rural landscape and livelihoods is also emerging a significant national priority. Even government schemes, e.g., National Rural Livelihood Mission, National Rural Health Mission, Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellowship scheme, etc., envisage a significant role of social entrepreneurs in rural revival. National Rural Livelihood Mission, for instance, aims at:

"...promotion of innovation, social enterprise/ social entrepreneur and public, private and community partnership (PPCP) (for)... development of a new product or new model of service delivery to address challenges faced by the rural poor... Successful innovative ideas are then scaled-up using an enterprise approach i.e., social enterprise... for replication and scaling-up in the Mission districts and blocks."

Clearly, there is a need to learn from - and about - rural-based social entrepreneurial ventures to both meet this challenge, as well as leverage on this opportunity.

2. Conference Design and Schedule

Correspondingly, this year, the conference theme is

and aims to create a platform to explore the opportunities and challenges for social ventures in rural sector. The conference design will entail the following panel sessions, where social entrepreneurs/ development sector professionals will share their experiences, issues and challenges:

  • Rural Revival: Opportunities & Challenges

  • Technology, Development & Inclusion

  • Models of Sustainable Farming

  • Solutions for Rural Healthcare

  • Innovations in Rural Revitalization

  • Emerging Rural Ventures – A Showcase

  • Creating Markets for Rural Producers

  • Building Self-Reliant Rural Communities

    Download Conference Schedule
  • 3. Participation Fee

    4. Speakers/ Resource Persons

    Please click on the organisations' names to find out about these ventures.

    Ajay Maniar
    Aavishkaar Venture Management Services

    Amit Jain
    eHealth Point

    Anindya Chattopadhyay
    General Manager (MERIT)
    Anudip Foundation

    Anshu Gupta
    Founder & Director

    Dhirendra Kumar, IFS
    Managing Director

    Elango Rangaswamy
    Panchayat President
    Kutumbakkam: The Model Village

    Gijs Spoor
    Founder & CEO
    Zameen Organic

    Dr Joe Madiath
    Executive Director
    Gram Vikas

    Kirti P Mishra

    Mrityunjay Tiwari
    Founder-Project Head
    Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital

    Mukti Bosco
    Secretary General
    Healing Fields Foundation

    Paul Basil
    Founder & CEO

    Pradeep Ghosh

    Pravesh Sharma, IAS
    Managing Director
    Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium

    Sanjeev Srivastwa
    Organic Bihar

    Satyan Mishra
    Founder & MD
    Drishtee Foundation

    Stan Thekaekara
    Just Change India

    Sundara Rajan Sampath
    Founder & CEO
    Janani Agriserve

    Dr Vanita Viswanath
    Secretary & CEO

    Vinay Kumar
    Chief Strategist
    Digital Green


    5. Profiles of 6 Emerging Rural Social Ventures

    Besides interactions with established social entrepreneurs and development/social sector professionals, the Conference will also provide opportunity to interact and know about 6 promising young social entrepreneurs, their ventures and the challenges and thrills of doing what they are doing

    Profiles of 6 Emerging Rural Social Ventures