Francisco Noguera

Social Entrepreneurs from GSBI 2008: Meet Neelam Chhiber, from Industree Crafts

The goal: Create economic opportunity for Indian villagers so they can build sustainable livelihoods in their local settings, preserve their traditions and avoid the need to migrate to large urban centers. The means: Industree, a social enterprise that promotes locally owned and operated craft manufacturing enterprises, aggregates their production and then sells it through a proprietary retail network.

Industree operates under an interesting hybrid structure. The non-profit ?organization plays the ?role of building the production base, building capacity amongst and transferring critical skills to the craftsmen that own and operate the production units. The for-profit, on the other hand, plays the role of aggregating production and buiding the entire supply chain that ends in the shelves.Neelam Chibber is the leader of Industree and was one of the 16 entrepreneurs taking part at this year’s Global Social Benefit Incubator, at Santa Clara University. Her vision and drive are admirable. Her integrated and holistic approach is worth praising and replicating, especially in a world where social / economical pressures seem to push larger and larger populations into cities, but simply lacks the resources necessary to make this trend sustainable.