The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, the sister organisation of the World Economic Forum in association with Jubilant Bhartia Foundation of Jubilant Bhartia group conferred Prema Gopalan of Swayam Shikshan Prayog with Social Entrepreneur of the Year India (SEOY) 2018 Award. The Award was presented by Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, National Institution for Transforming India, NITI Aayog Thursday evening in New Delhi
The SEOY India Award 2018 winner, is revitalising rural economies by putting women in charge. Working in areas affected by global climate change, it has unleashed women farmers, entrepreneurs and grassroots business leaders who are solving the problems of their communities through small businesses. Prema Gopalan and her team have built vibrant eco-systems to enable 145,000 women to succeed in remote and ailing markets. The Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) model comprises four ventures: a federated network of 5,000 self-help-groups (SHGs); a resilience fund for women-led businesses; a rural school of entrepreneurship and leadership for women; and a market aggregator that provides warehousing, branding, marketing and distribution services to last-mile business women. In addition, it has catalysed the government, investors, financial institutions and Indian and global corporations to partner directly with grassroots women business leaders.
The SEOY India Award promotes social entrepreneurs in India by recognising organisations that work to promote inclusive growth and contribute to bring change in the society through their entrepreneurial vision. The winner of SEOY India Award participates in the annual and regional meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF). These meetings offer unprecedented opportunities to engage with global decision makers from the public, corporate, media, academic, and civil society sectors. The winner will be invited to join the Schwab Foundation’s global community of over 300 social innovators. The finalists are evaluated on key parameters of innovation, sustainability, scalability, reach and direct social impact.
Applauding the work of the two finalists of this year SEOY India award, Dr. Rajiv Kumar said, “India is at the forefront of social entrepreneurship, in my view, is the platform where real transformation is taking place. Social entrepreneurs are the people who are doing well by doing good and are creating long-term value with their work. Social entrepreneurs are devoted to serving the underserved and I feel privileged to be here at the award ceremony.”
Informing about the initiatives taken by NITI Aayog, Kumar added, “We are trying to set up five incubation centres in various part of the county to create social entrepreneurs. India cannot develop without these entrepreneurs who bring transformation at the grassroot level.”
Congratulating the winner, Dr. Kumar said, “I congratulate Ms. Prema Gopalan of Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) for winning this prestigious award and hope that she will continue the good work in creating value by building resilient communities.”
“The World Economic Forum has long championed gender equality on the global agenda,” said Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. “The 2018 winner, Prema Gopalan of Swayam Shikshan Prayog, has demonstrated that investing in rural women is a good investment. Female entrepreneurs are critical actors to help bring about the transformation that India seeks!” added Schwab.
Congratulating the winner, Shyam S Bhartia, Chairman & Founder Jubilant Bhartia Group and Founder Director of Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, said, “We are entering 10th year of partnership with Schwab Foundation. In the last nine years, we received more than 1,400 applications for this award. The response is indeed overwhelming and the quality of the applications were very competitive. We are glad to see how SEOY India Award is able to identify and bring to the forefront the enterprises who are achieving social impact at a larger scale. We hope that this year’s SEOY India Award winner will serve as an inspiration to future generations of social innovators.”
This year, the SEOY India Award received over 100 applications of exceptional quality which were evaluated on key parameters of innovation, sustainability, scalability, reach and direct social impact. An independent panel of jury selected the winner. This year’s jury members included Hilde Schwab, Co-founder & Chairperson, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship; Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson & Editorial Director, HT Media; Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog; Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Enterprise; Urvashi Sahni, Study Hall Educational Foundation and Winner SEOY 2017; Srivatsan Rajan, Chairman, Bain & Company, India; Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder, Manndeshi Group of Ventures, Winner SEOY 2013 and Paul Basil, Founder & CEO, Villgro Innovation Foundation.