Artha Venture Challenge invites social ventures to access matched funding

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mumbai, India: Impact investment portal, the Artha Platform, has launched the Artha Venture Challenge (AVC), which will provide ambitious entrepreneurs in India the chance to access up to Rs 25 lakh of equity funding, if matched by the same amount in co-investment.

To ensure that good ideas addressing important social problems do not stay small, it is essential that high-impact social ventures are able to access funding to navigate the early growth stages and reach scale. Currently, many high-potential entrepreneurs fail because they are not able to access the required funding and resources thereby being unable to grow operations and scale impact.

The AVC is a national competition designed to identify the most ambitious early-stage social enterprises – those addressing social, economic or environmental issues while generating revenues. The AVC aims to identify, select and provide the best social enterprises access to finance, business support and powerful connections to assist in scaling their ventures.

Audrey Selian, Director, Artha Platform comments, “The Artha Venture Challenge is a pioneering initiative designed to address this well-acknowledged problem – the missing middle in social finance where there is a lack of high risk, patient capital for early stage social ventures in the INR 25 lakh to 100 lakh range.”

Each of the estimated 15 winning enterprises will receive the opportunity to pitch to high profile investors for up to INR 25 lakh (USD 50K) of funding, if matched by the same amount or more in co-investment.

In addition to the funding, the Artha Platform will also work with the winning cohort 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 the winning ventures as one of the most high-potential social entrepreneurs in India.

The AVC invites applications from social ventures across India that have completed proof of concept, are seeking growth investment and operate within the sectors of agriculture, energy (clean cook stoves and others), water or livelihoods. High-impact ventures that are operating in other sectors may also still apply.

The AVC is funded by the Artha Platform, – whose core funder/founder is the team at Rianta Philanthropy Ltd. Inspired by the UK Big Venture Challenge where 10 early-stage co-investment deals were closed within 10 months, the Artha Venture Challenge aims to similarly stimulate the early growth stage social investment market, except with an Indian focus. By strengthening seed investment in social ventures in India and helping investors de-risk through co-investment, the AVC will strategically deploy resources where it matters the most.

Ennovent – an organisation that accelerates innovations for sustainability in low-income markets – will be managing the Artha Venture Challenge in India on behalf of the Artha Platform.

Entrepreneurs that meet the eligibility criteria for the Artha Venture Challenge are invited to apply now before June 17, 2013 by visiting:

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