Applications for The Artha Venture Challenge, a national competition run by the Artha Platform to find the most ambitious, early stage social enterprises in India closed mid-night yesterday (June 17, 2013).
After over 370 nominations from various partner organisations, entrepreneurs and investors, a whopping 114 high quality applications were received from all across India within the sectors of agriculture, energy, water, livelihoods and beyond.
The challenge, managed by Ennovent on behalf of the Artha Platform is designed to fix a 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. By strengthening seed investment in social ventures in India and helping investors de-risk through co-investment, the Challenge aims to strategically deploy financial resources where it matters the most.
What happens now that the applications are closed? Well, all the applicants will now move to the Selection phase consisting of three rounds of review – Detailed review, Due Diligence and Jury selection – and on September 1st, 2013, the cohort of 15 finalists will be announced.
The goal of the Artha Venture Challenge is to ensure that good ideas do not stay small. Therefore, once the cohort is announced, the Artha Platform will work with an in country partner from September 2013 until March 2014 to provide the finalists customised capacity building support, strategic connections and introductions to investors to secure their round of external funding. Once the finalists receive the round of external funding they will be eligible to receive the match funding from the AVC with the winners being showcased at the annual Sankalp conference in 2014.
On behalf of the Artha Platform, Ennovent would like to thank all our partners for their support in sharing the news about the AVC over the past two months.
Stay tuned on the progress of the challenge by visiting www.arthaventurechallenge.com