New Year Greetings from ISEEDIRMA’s incubator for driving social change!
We are happy to share our second newsletter covering events and activities in the last four months (Aug-Nov 2019).
Our book, Farming Futures: Emerging Social Enterprises in Indiain collaboration with VikasAnvesh Foundation, was launched on 7th November at VAF’s annual conference at Pune. It has  detailed case studies on 15 agri-based social enterprises and seeks to further conversations on the emergence of an entrepreneurial route to solve India’s deep-rooted agrarian crisis.  

In continuation of our efforts on incubating collective enterprises, we have, with our ecosystem partners, built new knowledge on Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) as social entrepreneurial start-ups, strengthening capacities through training workshops and co-creating the collective enterprise ecosystem through policy dialogues and collaborative research.

ISEED is pursuing a vernacular turn in entrepreneurship and has deepened its understanding of capacity building needs of rural enterprises and grassroots entrepreneurs through field visits and is developing customized entrepreneurship curriculum in the vernacular

As the regional partner for the National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019, ISEED coordinated the extensive dissemination of NEA, mobilisation of entries and meticulous scrutiny of applications through extensive field visits in Gujarat Rajasthan, Daman & Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli, and the regional jury coordination. Three enterprises and one ecosystem builder from the region were selected for this year’s NEA Awards. 

Building Entrepreneurial Capacities

We continued to mentor and build capacities for rural and social entrepreneurs through our capacity building programmes. We hosted the third cohort of Transforming India Initiative (TII) fellows for their travel workshop on collective immersion in August. Twenty-eight young aspiring entrepreneurs, alumni of Medha- our social enterprise partner, visited us as a part of their three-day learning journey, RuBaRu.

Incubating Collective Enterprises

ISEED’s work on managing collectives builds on IRMA’s vast and unique knowledge on managing cooperatives and extending this to designing contemporary FPOs for greater business effectiveness. FPOs, we believe, need the same entrepreneurial thinking and support structures that a start-up needs. The knowledge, capacities and ecosystem for this is however missing. We facilitated the use of the FPO Manual released at IRMA in March 2019 through a series of regional Training of Trainers for Board of Directors and CEOs of FPOs at Ahmedabad (June), Kolkata (September) and Eluru (November) in collaboration with Skill Green and regional partners. 
Read our blog on the first FPO ToT organised at Ahmedabad

Farming Futures: Emerging Social Enterprises in India

"Farming Futures: Emerging Social Enterprises in India" was launched at the second annual conference of our ecosystem partner VikasAnvesh FoundationRural India: Towards inclusion of the marginalized on 7th November 2019. 

Glimpses of conversations around this book across multiple locations:
Book release followed by a panel discussion was organised at Sankalp Global Summit 2019. Click on the image to view the whole discussion.

From the field: Growing Entrepreneurially

Shubha Khadke, our incubation manager, conducted training sessions on grassroots entrepreneurship in the vernacular for women entrepreneurs associated with Udaipur Urja initiatives co. ltd at Udaipur. She also led sessions at workshops by National Dairy Development Board on social entrepreneurship and managing stakeholders for aspiring entrepreneurs from the dairy sector and trained sisters of Paryavaran Mitra who have been empowered from being individual rag-pickers to managers of solid waste and are building newer collective institutions through their Self Help Groups.  
ISEED Chair, Prof. Shambu Prasad visited Manyam Grains for a follow up visit after their MD participated in the sixth edition of our EDP "Building and Managing Social Entreprises". Read more about his visit in the blog here.  
Our team visited some of the grassroots level enterprises and entrepreneurs in The Dangs district of Gujarat to access the nature of the incubation support they currently need. Read our blog here

National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019

IRMA is the regional partner for National Entrepreneurship Awards, instituted by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship GoI. 
ISEED used this opportunity to understand the current scenario of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region through this two-month intensive exercise of creating awareness through 29 roadshows, discussions and both online and print advertisements, screening over 800 applications in the first round, 33% more than last year, to select 106 enterprises across all the categories for verification through field visits and phone calls. 
Our ecosystem partner, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India) won the ecosystem builders awards in the "promoters of rural producer enterprises" category. Sickle Innovation, Tatkalorry and Invent India, from our region, won the enterprise awards in their respective categories.

Scouting Enterprises for Social Innovations

ISEED was an associate partner for the Green Business Challenge 2019 which aims to scout and support innovative agribusiness that has the potential to grow and accelerate the market contributing to a more vibrant and job-creating agricultural economy. Our social enterprise partner Earth 360 won the second prize in Agri-Business SMEs with innovative products and technological interventions category.
Entrepreneurial IRMA
Idea Chaupal is the annual inter-college social entrepreneurship competition organized by IRMA's Social Entrepreneurship Cell (iSEC). More than 350 applications were received from students across the country out of which ten ideas were selected for the final round on 7th September 2019 at IRMA. For more details about Idea Chaupal, read our blog here.
ISEED in news
ISEED’s work on incubating rural, social and collective enterprises was featured by Careers360. Read it here.
Social enterprise partner in focus:
Paryavaran Mitra
Paryavaran Mitra is a humble endeavour to uplift the rag-picking women of our country in a holistic manner while focusing on their dignity and respect. Rag-pickers, mostly women, collect recyclable waste from the streets and dump sites and sell it for their daily wages. As these women play an integral role in waste management and recycling, they provide a silent but essential service to both society and the environment. For this reason, with great respect, they call them as Paryavaran Mitra or Friends of the Environment.

They are currently working with more than 250 sisters in and around Ahmedabad city.
 They are working towards establishing a collective enterprise of women involved in rag picking in Ahmedabad and are also looking to expand their team. In case you are interested or know someone who might be interested in joining their team, please connect with them at
Our upcoming events
We hope to deepen our engagements at the grassroots even as we shape the conversations on collective and social enterprises in the next quarter as we prepare for our national workshops in March 2020. We value your suggestions to build a vibrant social entrepreneurial ecosystem and encourage you to write to us at
Our mailing address is:


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