Artha Newsletter

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Edition 6 – April 2012

A tremendous opportunity exists today to transform the face of investor/donor engagement with the vast, untapped markets at the base of the pyramid (BOP). The Artha Platform mission is to help unlock this opportunity.

Table of Contents:

Case studies
Stats of interest
Recent investments
investment opportunities
Platforms of interest
Tweet Corner

@newsenergy: Wind Energy News: Asia Report: India’s Wind Potential 30 Times Greater Than Believed? Link

@terrasolar: India’s largest solar power plant starts production – Times of India Link

@ShankkharAiyar: Theory of critical mass!“@pranjalsharma: Interesting data from India census. Rural areas buy more than urban. Link

@organicconnect:  Rediscovering Organic Farming in Rural India | Organic Connections Link

@SolarPowerWrld: IAzure power to asses potential of #solar powered micro-grids for rural India: Link

@Meetasengupta: Are rural education innovation programs replicable, scaleable? Starting the discussion on rural education. Link

@ASherinian:Technology and health – a conversation about how #philanthropy can help drive #innovation in India w/ @unfoundation @ Hrudayala Hospital

@ingridsrinath: Philanthropy in India: Focus on Systemic Changes – Knowledge@Wharton Today Link via @knowledgwharton

@DTNIndia: DTN India: BoP deficit touches highest level in 20 years: With reserves enough to just feed about 5 months of im… Link

@G_B_Fund Entrepreneurs will be first movers in impact investing Link via @livemint #impinv #India #bop #socent

@natebrown Impact Investing in India | HealthWorks Collective: I am a member of the Mumbai Angels network , and I attended … Link

@gopykryshna Interesting read: Impact Investing in India Link

@VIIndiaReport Does value investing work in India? Link

@ED_Cell_MNIT Gud news Entrepreneurs, Rise of Angel Investors in India. For those of you who dont know Angel Investors are…Link

@nenindia More and more people are becoming #Angels every day in India. Is investing in raw #startups a good way … Link


Indian Angel Network Event on Managing HR

Date: March 24th, 2012
The Indian Angel Network (IAN) present a workshop on “HR Challenges for Start-ups”, which will educate start-ups, entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs & students on dealing with the most important asset of any organization, people. The workshop will focus on how this asset should effectively be utilized to yield outstanding results even while starting up and will guide entrepreneurs on how to hire employees. Pls click here for more information.

Skoll Forum/Oxfordjam Fringe Event

Date: March 28-30, 2012
Location: Oxford, UK
This year’s Oxfordjam fringe event alongside the Skoll Forum in Oxford, England, will feature a session run by Audrey Selian and Ben Metz focused on the function, form and objectives of the Artha Platform.  Join us at 8am on Thursday the 29th March for more information about the system and how you can get involved.  For more information on venue, logistics or how to sign up, pls click here.
Sankalp Forum 2012
Date: April 11-13th, 2012
Location: Mumbai
The Sankalp Forum (one of Intellecap’s flagship initiatives is a unique and collaborative platform designed to catalyze impact investments into sustainable and scalable social enterprises globally.  Founded with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Ashoka India, New Ventures and over 25 other sector stakeholders, Sankalp today is one of the largest gathering of social entrepreneurs, impact investors, policy makers and others. For more information please click here.

Social Innovation in Asia
Date: April 18th, 2012
Location: London, UK
Social Innovation in Asia will explore the new ideas, strategies and concepts evolving from Asia which attempt to resolve the social, cultural, economic and environmental growth challenges in the pan-Asian region. Pls click here to register.

6th Indian Marketing Summit 2012
Date: April 27-28, 2012
Location: India International Centre, New Delhi
This Summit, focused on “Marketing for Not for Profit Organizations in Emerging Markets” is expected to attract a wide array of non – profit organizations, Corporates, Social Entrepreneurs, Researchers, Public Sector Organizations, Foundations, development agencies and venture capitalists among others. For more information pls click here.

Global Business School Network 7th Annual Conference
Date: June 12th – 13th, 2012
Location: Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi
The Global Business School Network 2012 Annual Conference will convene experts from within their 50 top international business school members, as well as from NGOs, corporations, foundations and education professionals committed to increasing opportunity and improving lives by strengthening management education for the developing world. Pls click here for more information.

Impact Forum 2012

Date: June 25-26th, 2012
Location: Singapore
The theme of this year’s Forum sponsored by AIIX and Shujog is “Igniting Capital Markets for Social Good”, and the Forum will serve as a major platform to promote dialogue and action to propel the impact investment, social enterprise and social capital markets space forward. The Forum will focus on the innovations taking place in Asia for these fast-changing spaces, especially delving into the resulting sustainable social, environmental, and financial development. Pls click here for early bird registration.

The Marico Innovation Foundation institutionalised the “Innovation for India Awards” to recognize the greatest innovations to come out of India in the recent past that have positively impacted our lives and have at their core a great idea coupled with a unique insight.  Read more…

Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation
In 2011, the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation recognized Neelima Mishra as an emerging leader for her zeal in working with self help groups across Maharashtra to give the poorest of the poor not just access to micro-credit but also the means to collectively improve their lives by creating better income opportunities.  Speaking to Shivraj Parshad of The Practice in this podcast interview, Neelima Mishra shares her belief that it isn’t government handouts or charity that sustains the poor, but timely access to finance.  Her message to young entrepreneurs is clear – continue to innovate with new ideas to create sustainable businesses and development.
5th Spandan Annual Award in Human Values
Instituted by Spandan in 2007, the Annual Award in Human Values for professionals in Management, Administrators and Entrepreneurs aims at identifying and honoring individuals involved in inculcating human values as an integral part of work ethic and culture in their own spheres of activity. Spandan and its institutional member Indus Business Academy, Greater Noida, have great pleasure in announcing this award for the year 2012 to  Mr Pradeep Kashyap from Rural Mart, a member of the Artha Platform!

VISION, the national level technical symposium of DECE, is into its 16th edition. With the participation of more than 3,000 students from all over India this competiton has become a must-go in every engineering student’s calendar. Replete with exciting events, it offers the right platform for fostering innovation. The goal of VISION is not merely to dazzle but also to broaden the realms of technical and entrepreneurial success and reach out to as many people as possible. Visit VISION 2012 to find out more.


Masuta Producer’s Company
As a livelihoods promotion organization, development NGO PRADAN helps organize low-income women into self-help groups, often developing economic opportunities to increase productivity and income within their households. It is with the NGO’s help that Masuta Producer’s Co. now consists of over 2,600 low-income women, typically forest dwellers or tribal women, in Central India who produce yarn from tasar silk. Through their membership in the producer’s company, the women, now have a means of employment, thereby increasing self-esteem and overall household productivity.
Read more…

AAA Growers
As an agricultural export company based in Kenya, AAA Growers (AAA) has found many channels through which it can institute sustainable practices. From the employment of a 2000 member workforce to its insistence on sustainable production and appropriate care of farmland to its focus on the export of fresh, quality vegetables, the company has displayed concern for its staff, land, and consumers. With a workforce spread across its farms and pack houses, AAA has been able to employ large numbers of local staff across the communities within which it works.  Read more…
The Walmart Foundation donation to help women affected by the Cyclone Thane
The Walmart Foundation announced a USD 100,000 (Rupees 50 Lakh) donation to a project to help small scale farmers, including 900 women, affected by Cyclone Thane in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, where the Walmart Foundation’s Cashew Value Chain Initiative is currently underway. This project will be implemented by CARE, a leading international humanitarian organization.  Pls click here to see the Article.
Welcome to the latest Artha Newsletter, associated with the new Artha Platform!
The Artha Team continues to press forward, incorporating user feedback and pushing through our first deal on the Artha Platform, details of which we hope will be announced soon!  Our forthcoming exposure at the next Sankalp Forum taking place in Mumbai April 11-13 will be a great opportunity for us to galvanize new membership, and drive forward our goal of creating a strong community with a culture of information-sharing around their support of social business in India.  Artha will be supporting the winning entrepreneur at the Sankalp Forum to the tune of $40K in prize money.  Our platform provides a ‘safe’ space for information exchange for famliy offices, social venture capital funds, venture philanthropies, foundations, DFIs, entrepreneur support organizations and the individuals who operate in this niche arena.
US to launch website to help donate funds to Indian NGOs
WASHINGTON: To ease concerns over some NGOs in India mis-using foreign aid, the US is set to launch an online portal that will help Indian-Americans to safely donate funds to non-government bodies back home.  At the initiative of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the State Department is in the final stages of launching this ambitious website. Pls click here to see the original article.
Giving in India on the Rise, Report Finds
A 2011 visit to India by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage the country’s billionaires to increase their charitable giving appears to be paying dividends, reports. Pls click here to see the original article.
New Managing Director Appointed to Intellecap
Mr. Richard Weingarten has just recently been appointed as Intellecap’s new Managing Director.  Richard has had a long and distinguished career in law, venture capital, investment banking, and as an independent financial advisor to a wide variety of firms around the world. He most recently served the founding MD of the Norwegian Microfinance Initiative (NMI).  Richard will provide overall leadership to the Intellecap management team and will focus on global expansion plans. Additionally he will become a member of Intellecap’s Board of Directors.
Nutrition Gardens And Seed Banks: Women Farmers Adapt To Climate Change
Innovative measures by women farmers across India are helping several poor families adapt better to climate change and keep hunger at bay.  As a woman Janakpur, a village located in district Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, explains, “Earlier, we could not produce enough food for a year because our village would get water-logged by the flood waters. Now, using early maturing paddy varieties and organic manure to revive soil fertility, we can at least eat for all 12 months from the same piece of land.” Pls click here to read more.
The Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) is growing and developing the venture philanthropy movement across the Asia Pacific region. AVPN is building on the success of its sister organization, the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), which has more than 140 members in 20 countries. AVPN promotes venture philanthropy in the broader philanthropic and social investment communities and provide specific networking and learning services to meet the needs of its members.

The Ugly Indian Visit The Ugly Indian and you are asked a question with 4 options. I doubt anyone will *not* click on the obvious answer. And that accuracy in answering the question indicates that we are indeed aware of our apathy towards public spaces, properties and immediate surroundings. But why is that the case? And can this Ugly Indian that resides inside us be banished forever? Navigate through the site and you will perhaps heave a sigh of relief on knowing that things can be changed. All it needs is our will and cooperation.   Pls click here to see their website.
LabourNet is India’s leading informal sector livelihoods-focused social enterprise that is striving to create a platform for skill-building, enhancement of job linkages, financial inclusion and enabling workers with life tools. The enterprise’s aim is to have registered and provided identity to half a million workers by 2017. They will provide each registered worker with identity information, financial inclusion, an opportunity to upskill at different points in the working life cycle and the opportunity for certification.  The company has 6 years of operational history in the Informal Worker segment, and was incorporated as a private limited entity in 2008. They current investment requirement is approximately USD $400K. Please visit the Artha Platform project pipeline for further detail or to signal interest in this opportunity.


United Villages
The mission of United Villages is to empower rural people by providing and delivering products, services, and information. United Villages leverages existing wireless and transportation infrastructures to cost-effectively reach rural markets that are otherwise underserved. United Villages, Inc. is based in Cambridge, MA (USA) and operates a subsidiary in India. United Villages India is headquartered in New Delhi and currently operates networks in rural Rajasthan. Please see the company homepage.
Changing Delhi: One Cab Ride at a Time
With recent articles showing that at least one woman is molested in New Delhi every day and reports of women being molested by their cab drivers, the opportunity for ensuring safety in transport is a substantial one.  As of last December, there is now another option for women: Sakha. In 2008, Meenu Vadera founded Sakha, a cab service run by women for women, in order to provide safe cab and chauffeur services to women in Delhi by training women from marginalised communities as drivers. Pls click here to see the original article.
Berkeley Lab Study Shows Significantly Higher Potential for Wind Energy in India than Previously Estimated
A new assessment of wind energy in India by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that the potential for on-shore wind energy deployment is far higher than the official estimates— about 20 times and up to 30 times greater than the current government estimate of 102 gigawatts. This landmark finding may have significant impact on India’s renewable energy strategy as it attempts to cope with a massive and chronic shortage of electricity. Pls click here to see the article.
Impact Investors in Asia: Characteristics and Preferences for Investing in Social Enterprises in Asia and the Pacific
The aim of this research sponsored by the AIIX/Shujog is to understand the “buy” side of the market for impact investing in Asia and the Pacific. Specifically, this project places emphasis on understanding the scale and scope of capital pools available for impact investment in sustainable social enterprises (SEs) 1 in Asia and the Pacific in the coming years, the interest of investors in utilizing a “social stock exchange” as part of their impact investment strategy in the region and the design features that such a social stock exchange must incorporate in order to attract these impact investors. The research seeks to understand, “What engages investors in impact investment?”; What is the current and projected level of interest?”; “What is the need for and appeal of a social stock exchange?”; and “What are the operational requirements for each investor category to participate on a social stock exchange?” – all in the context of Asia and the Pacific region. Pls click here for access to the report.
An Update on Regulation from the Foreign Office: “Setting up Project Offices in India”
The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) vide A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 76, RBI/2011-12/ 392 February 09, 2012 (“2012 Circular”) has clarified on the general permission as provided to setting up of project offices in terms of Circular No. 37 dated November 15, 2003. (“2003 Circular”).
As per Regulation 4 of Foreign Exchange Management (Establishment in India of Branch or Office or other Place of Business) Regulations, 2000 (“FEMA 22”) no person, being a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iran or China, shall establish in India, a branch office or a liaison office or a project office or any other place of business by whatever name called, without the prior permission of the Reserve Bank. Further foreign entities intending to set up a branch office or liaison office or project office had to seek the approval of the RBI before setting up such office and the RBI granted such approval only on a case to case basis. However, under the A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 37 dated November 15, 2003. (“2003 Circular”) issued by the RBI, general permission was granted to foreign entities to set up a project office in India, subject to certain conditions being fulfilled therein.  Source: Vichar Partners, Chennai (More information:
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