Articles by Sachi Shenoy
When ‘Hibernation’ Is Not an Option: How a Small Business in India Fought to Stay Alive During the Pandemic
Soon after the COVID-19 lockdown started, Lal10 – a social enterprise that connects India’s indigenous artisans to formal markets – faced cratering demand for its standard products, like saris and other textiles. As Sachi Shenoy at Upaya Social Ventures explains, in order to survive, the company essentially had to start over. She explores how Lal10 managed to quickly pivot to meet the intense demand for personal protective equipment, while continuing to connect its artisans to dignified work – and building a more efficient company in the process.
The coronavirus pandemic wiped out 30 million jobs in the U.S. in the first four months, and an estimated 120 million jobs in India. As the U.S. celebrates Labor Day, Bulbul Gupta at Pacific Community Ventures and Sachi Shenoy at Upaya Social Ventures argue that recovery from this crisis will require more than a return to the pre-COVID status quo. It will require impact investors, business leaders, governments and others to create "the kinds of jobs that uplift their communities to a better tomorrow."
Less than 3 percent of impact investment funds made their way to early-stage ventures in 2017. Sachi Shenoy and Nathan Byrd of Upaya Social Ventures believe the impact investing sector must do better. After several years of investing pioneer capital in social enterprises, they offer several solutions that take advantage of a "less is more" philosophy.