SIF Builds Capacity Amongst Indian Social Entrepreneurs

35 young social entrepreneurs from across India convened in Bangalore for a two-day workshop as part of the SIF’s 2019 series of Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) Overseas Workshops in India, followed by China later this year. Over two days, these social entrepreneurs were equipped with entrepreneurial know-how, as well as skills in leadership, marketing, business acumen, measuring social impact and pitching, to further scale-up their social enterprises. Besides connecting and learning from 36 speakers and mentors from diverse sectors in the India and Singapore social entrepreneurship ecosystems, these young changemakers would also join the global YSE network of over 1,000 changemakers from 30 nationalities.

The SIF welcomed Indian YSEs representing 23 social enterprises to its global network of over 1,000 changemakers with the YSE Bangalore Workshop from 2 to 3 May. This was the first time the YSE Workshop was held in Bangalore.
Coming from eight different cities across India, the YSEs kickstarted their two-day workshop of learning and networking with a round of icebreaker games to get to know their fellow changemakers.
The YSEs also got the chance to network with 18 Amani Institute Social Innovation Management Programme Fellows from 10 countries.
Alumni from various SIF programmes joined the workshop to share their experiences with the YSEs, adding value and depth to the sessions. This included Kamya Ramachandran (pictured with microphone), Director of Jagaa DNA and SIF Arts For Good Fellow 2018. She spoke with the YSEs and Fellows from Amani Institute about creative and effective community engagement.
24 mentors from Singapore and India pose for a group photo with the YSEs during the Business Clinic session, where the changemakers received one-on-one mentorship from leaders in the startup ecosystem, including Ashoka Fellows, impact investors and professionals from SAP and various accelerator programmes. Sharing her thoughts on the mentorship sessions, YSE Bhavya Singh from Built Empathy said, “Our Singaporean mentors and organisers are such warm people, I've already developed a kinship for Singapore even without ever having the opportunity to visit.”
Singaporeans living in Bangalore such as Hussain Somjee, Managing Director, MIMI Homes Pvt Ltd (right) also volunteered their time to mentor and guide the YSEs on problems they were facing in their entrepreneurial journey. Hussain, having managed and expanded two family businesses from Singapore to India, emphasised the importance on having clear and focused plans for any business to remain sustainable and competitive.
How do you scale the impact of your social enterprise to create meaningful systems and framework change? Yashveer Singh, Director of Youth Venture from Ashoka India (right) inspired and prompted the YSEs to think beyond providing direct service to their beneficiaries to creating innovative solutions that empower structural changes. YSE Sumedha Rao from Sustainable Bangalore shared, “The best part of the YSE program is by far the opportunity to connect with like-minded people from all over the world and be exposed to unique ideas.”
Putting into practice the learnings from the workshops over the two days, the YSEs delivered an elevator pitch of their work to a media panel comprising the SIF’s Journalist Visit Programme alumni, its digital storytelling initiative – Our Better World, as well as Bangalore-based media outlets.
Many connections were made, many more friendships were forged over the two days for these young changemakers. YSE Olivia Deka from She For Change shared, “Getting varied cultural perspectives on issues each of our countries are facing has been very insightful. I am thrilled that I came for this workshop with just one friend and am leaving with 40 more.”
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