A new breed of social innovators is exploring innovative business models and unconventional approaches in India. But since their models are not traditional or proven, most funders are unwilling to bet on them. Anshu Bhartia, CEO of UnLtd India, has a few suggestions for how these entrepreneurs can compete in a funding market that is "traditional, restrictive and governed by rules that serve the conformists." As the leader of an incubator working with Indian entrepreneurs confronting pressing social issues, Bhartia shares her vision of the road ahead.
Behavioral science – the practice of leveraging human tendencies to produce desired outcomes – has become popular in the social sector. In particular, "nudges" – small changes that subtly encourage better behaviors – are often seen as a solution for everything from weight loss to financial health. But Mariel Beasley, co-founder of the behavioral science group Common Cents Lab, shares an uncomfortable truth: Small tweaks usually mean marginal changes, and half-measures like nudges are leaving most of the potential of behavioral science untapped.
Rural dwellers at the base of the pyramid are living largely "data-less," un-digitalized lives – but that's changing quickly with the spread of pay-as-you-go energy and the financial access it enables. In spite of the dangers of wrongly screening out customers as potential credit risks, denying them both further electrification prospects and access to credit, Guilhem Dupuy of GAIA Impact Fund and Thibault Lesueur of Solaris Offgrid take an optimistic view. They discuss why new off-grid energy data is an opportunity for increased investment, industry growth and economic justice.
Learning to Think Like a Social Entrepreneur: How Nordic Rebels’ ‘Cooking Slam’ Enhances Entrepreneurship Education
Entrepreneurship is characterized by uncertainty – especially when it's tackling some of society’s biggest challenges. So how can social entrepreneurs learn to navigate this unpredictability as they work to create successful ventures? Nordic Rebels prepares entrepreneurs for these challenges through a unique education program that features a cooking contest. Adithya Varadarajan and Katharina Schilli discuss this innovative approach.
The next key step in financial inclusion is payment interoperability, in which digital finance providers’ networks are connected to enable transactions between users of different systems. But though interoperability has major potential for the sector, it also comes with huge risks, says Clear Purchase founder Nick Brown, an expert in payment infrastructure. He explains why a massive payment fraud attack could do substantial and long-lasting damage to the financial inclusion movement, and how an open-source platform like the Gates Foundation's Mojaloop increases the risk.