Early-stage social ventures are invited to access Rs 25 lakh of matched funding
Applications open until June 17, 2013 for the Artha Venture Challenge; a nationwide
competition for ambitious social ventures to access up to Rs 25 lakh of equity funding, if
matched by the same amount in co-investment.
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 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:
The Artha Platform is an online community and website dedicated to building relationships
between impact investors and donors, and social entrepreneurs and capacity building support
organizations working on or in India. The Artha Platform has been created to support ambitious
Indian social entrepreneurs raise investment, get past the pain of due diligence and scale their
ventures. The Artha Platform is an independent initiative supported by Rianta Philanthropy Ltd.
Twitter: @ArthaPlatform; #ArthaChallenge
Ennovent accelerates innovations for sustainability in low-income markets. Our complimentary
set of services enables clients to discover enterprises with novel solutions, develop business
models to start up enterprises, provide finance and grow operations to scale profit and impact.
Since 2008 Ennovent has worked with over 4,500 Network members, 15 Circle members and
20 Solution clients to accelerate over 70 innovations. We envision a sustainable future for lowincome people in developing countries. www.ennovent.com
Twitter: @ennovent; #ArthaChallenge
Communications Manager, Ennovent