Tata Social Enterprise Challenge begins hunt for social innovators

Added On : 20-Aug-2018

Tata Group in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM Calcutta), recently announced the 7th edition of Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2018 to find India’s most promising early-state social innovators. The challenge is a platform to identify social entrepreneurs to build sustainable, scalable and measurable social impact. This year, the programme has introduced an additional element – the Tata Social Enterprise E-Hackathon, an online contest for college students to share a solution for a specific social challenge that will be announced on the website soon. 


Maximum of 20 teams will be selected for semi-finals and will be provided up to 3 weeks of mentorship support, including 4 days at the IIM Calcutta campus. 

Funding Opportunity 

Shortlisted teams for the semi-finals and finals will have an opportunity to pitch to India’s largest social VCs for seed funding. 


The finalists will get a chance to pitch for incubation at IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. 

Cash Awards 

The total prize money is Rs.6 lakh for the top three teams. The semi-finalists will receive travel grants.

This challenge is open for teams who either have an early stage venture (not older than three years) or a promising idea with a plan that can create sustainable social impact in India. They can submit their business plans online, by logging onto www.tatasechallenge.org. Impact proposals (detailed business plans) are invited in the areas of agriculture, food and dairy, healthcare, water and sanitation, technology and development, education and skills development, housing, handicrafts, energy, and microfinance/financial inclusion. The ventures will be judged on three parameters - Business Model, Social Impact, and Sustainability.

The challenge invites the public to nominate social enterprises that they know of and who fit the eligibility criteria. The last day to submit the impact proposal (business plan) online is September 30, 2018.

Through this challenge, selected social entrepreneurs will be offered mentorship support, funding opportunities and an opportunity to pitch for incubation at the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. Some of the qualifying ventures of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge which have been incubated at the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) are ONganic Foods Pvt Ltd, Aroghya Medtech Pvt Ltd., Doctors For You, SwitchON-ONergy, Edwell Solutions, Bodhi Health Education and Ultrasafe Ultrasound.

Comments Harish Bhat, brand custodian, Tata Sons, “The Tata Social Enterprise Challenge provides a platform for entrepreneurs who wish to find solutions that will have a social impact in India. In the past six years, the challenge has moved social entrepreneurs from all parts of India into the limelight; it provides social start-ups with an ecosystem that gives them access to mentors, networks and introduces them to venture capitalists. 

Professor Ashok Banerjee, professor – IIM Calcutta & founding member – Tata SE Challenge said, “Tata Social Enterprise Challenge is now recognised as a flagship programme on social entrepreneurship. The quality of applicants has significantly improved over the past six years. Also, we have witnessed remarkable growth of past Tata SE Challenge winners. We are looking for budding social enterprises who are ready to scale up and create impact at the national level and firmly believe that Tata Social Enterprise Challenge will help establish a network between budding entrepreneurs and funding partners.” 

As a part of the challenge, seminars will be held across eight cities to create awareness, interest and desire among graduate and post-graduate students to engage with the social enterprise ecosystem. The challenge also leverages interactive digital and social media platforms such as Tata Social Enterprise Challenge website (www.tatasechallenge.org), Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to create and disseminate knowledge about the status of Social Entrepreneurship in India.

Incepted in 2012, Tata Social Enterprise Challenge is a unique initiative supported by some of the most prominent venture capitalists in the social entrepreneurship space to promote the spirit of social entrepreneurship in India.

For registration criteria and procedure, interested applicants can log onto www.tatasechallenge.org.

About the Tata group:

Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising over 100 independent operating companies. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission 'To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust'. Tata Sons is the principal investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies. Sixty-six percent of the equity share capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts, which support education, health, livelihood generation and art and culture.. In 2016-17, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $100.39 billion. These companies collectively employ over 695,000 people.  Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors and shareholders. There are 29 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of $130.13 billion (as on March 31, 2017). Tata companies with significant scale include Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels.

About IIM Calcutta Innovation Park: The IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) is a Section 8 company established under the aegis of IIM Calcutta (IIMC) to promote Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The IIMCIP aims at creating a comprehensive eco-system to promote and nurture innovative enterprises. There are two broad verticals under IIMCIP – Business Incubation Unit and Innovation Lab. The Business Incubation Unit promotes entrepreneurship with a focus on social enterprises and provides an ecosystem where enterprises with innovative ideas can transform into successful business ventures. The Innovation lab promotes Innovation in research and business through industry-academia partnership. The finalists of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge get an opportunity to pitch for Incubation at the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. As part of the incubation programme IIMCIP offers dedicated mentorship, funding connect, support services and training programme on various aspects of entrepreneurship at IIMC campus.

For further details please visit the official website: www.iimcip.org