Intellecap and Villgro today announced a strategic partnership that will leverage the extensive experience and networks of both organizations to better assist social entrepreneurs developing innovative business models across India. This synergy of resources and expertise will promote a broader national-level collaborative plan to identify and support competitive enterprises focused on creating market solutions for the Base of the Pyramid.
Intellecap launched the Sankalp Forum in 2009 to create an enabling environment for socially relevant small and medium enterprises. Its Annual Summit has been Asia's largest social enterprise event, linking entrepreneurs to impact investors year after year. Villgro incubates, funds and supports early stage innovative social enterprises that impact the lives of the rural poor. Its flagship event, Unconvention offers social enterprises a multitude of resources such as networks and knowledge to take ideas to market.
The two organizations will now jointly organize the annual "Sankalp Unconvention Summit" in Mumbai in April 2013 to create a substantially larger meeting of entrepreneurs, investors, donors, policy makers and other stakeholders, with over 1000 delegates expected over three days. Year-round, the Intellecap-Villgro partnership will ensure greater provision of and access to incubation, advisory and mentoring services and more frequent and better prepared introductions to investors. More critically, the partnership will focus on taking events and programs sponsored by Intellecap and Villgro to smaller cities and new regions around India where ecosystems for innovation and social entrepreneurship are underdeveloped or do not exist.
Intellecap and Villgro will together provide a comprehensive range of initiatives and services to broaden and deepen the social enterprise ecosystem in India. Villgro plans to inspire, discover and nurture budding entrepreneurial spirits through its program 'Unconvention-L', a series of local events in Tier 2 & 3 cities across India. Unconvention-L, with Intellecap as a supporting partner, also hopes to develop city-specific hubs of entrepreneurship that become catalysts to future activities. In addition, Intellecap, largely through the Sankalp Forum, will continue to design and deliver capacity-building workshops that provide technical knowledge and skills to social enterprises and will expand these activities to a variety of locations across India, including a special focus on the Low Income States. Intellecap will also continue to offer its Investment Banking, Consulting, and Knowledge Services to social enterprises across the country while also managing and supporting its Impact Investment Network (I3N) for "angel investors" seeking investment opportunities in young social enterprises.
Anurag Agrawal, Chief Operating Officer of Intellecap stated: "We are very pleased to enter into this partnership with Villgro. Together we will be able to build a substantially broader and deeper ecosystem for social enterprises across India based on the relative strengths and different experiences and expertise of the two organizations. We are expecting the Sankalp Unconvention Summit in April 2013 to be a larger and better event than ever, and we are looking forward to collaborating with our partners at Villgro to make this happen."
Paul Basil, Founder and CEO, Villgro stated: "It's time that action moved from Mumbai and Delhi, deeper into other cities across India. Through this partnership, we hope to inspire, discover, mentor many more innovative social entrepreneurs and thereby create vibrant local ecosystems."