Of the 116 ambitious early-stage social enterprises that applied for the Artha Venture Challenge (AVC) – a national competition designed to identify, select and provide the best socially focused ventures access to mentoring, connections and funding – the final cohort of 15 enterprises has now been announced. The finalists for the AVC are Aakar Innovations Pvt. Ltd, Arogya Finance, Avani Bio Energy, Banka BioLoo, Boond Engineering & Development Pvt. Ltd, Edubridge Learning Pvt. Ltd, Jackonblock Facility Services Pvt. Ltd, KNIDS GREEN Pvt. Ltd, NextDrop, MicroGraam Marketplace Pvt. Ltd, Sanchayan Suraksha Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Sevamob, Sakhi Unique Rural Enterprise, Tamul Plates Marketing Pvt. Ltd and Villgro Innovation Marketing Pvt. Ltd.

These finalists will not only receive extensive capacity building support but also the opportunity to access Rs 25 lakh of equity funding, if matched by the same in co-investment within the next eight months. That co-investment may take the form of grant, equity or debt, though the AVC matched piece must necessarily be in equity form.

To ensure that the final cohort are able to secure the external round of funding necessary to access the matched round of Rs 25 lakh, innovation accelerators Ennovent and Villgro will be working closely with each of the finalists to provide them customised support.

These organisations will enable the final 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 them as one of the most high-potential social entrepreneurs in India.