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Read more about Early-stage support for social enterprises lacking in India: PwC Foundation on Business Standard. Corporate social responsibility space waking up to for-profit social enterprises
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lacking in India: PwC Foundation
While there may be many institutions currently present for funding as later-stage
support, startups in the social enterprise space sorely lack early stage hand-
"Support in the early stage is missing and that is part of our interest in terms of
getting the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE)to India,” says Jaivir Singh, vice-
chairman of PwC India Foundation. The foundation is the corporate social
responsibility arm of the global tax advisory giant.
Supported by PwC, SSE brings together and equips people with the technical
knowledge and business support to take forward their enterprises in the social
sector. This includes startups tackling urgent issues like poverty, education,
inequality and health, among others. The India school is part of a chain of 11
similar ones across the United Kingdom, Canada and India.
"Yes, we do provide funding but it is focused on creating the capabilities and
resources required to run the SSE fellowship rather than later stage seed capital
support", Singh said.
India has firmly woken up to the startup boom and added more than a 1,000 such
firms in 2017, industry body Nasscom has said.
However, even as the nation strengthens its position as the third-largest startup
ecosystem globally, the level of support and interest from venture capital firms
for social enterprises are yet to match those that have been witnessed for their
counterparts in other segments.
On this note, Singh says India has a very old culture of giving but the nature of
doing so is changing significantly over the past two decades. He adds that
companies like e-payments player Paytm which has been able to fuse a message
of social impact and responsibility as part of its larger business model stand a
much better chance of receiving funding.
The large CSR space in India is slowly understanding the need and benefits of for-
profit enterprises which are more sustainable and robust in the longer run, Singh
argues. With regard to whether large firms were hitting their CSR requirements,
he said the process is ongoing and is expected to witness a jump over the next
Under the Companies Act, 2013, implemented by the corporate affairs ministry,
there are strict norms for ensuring good corporate governance practices besides
requiring certain class of profitable companies to shell out a minimum amount
towards CSR activities.
In December, the ministry informed the Lok Sabha that it had given its permission
for penal action against 187 companies for violating CSR norms in 2014-15 fiscal.
However, action is slow since the monitoring of thousands of companies is a
strenuous process and sanctioned number of officials is small, a senior
government official said.
To deal with the issue, last month the government launched the National CSR
Data Portal to provide a snap shot of CSR activities carried out by eligible
companies. Provisional figures for 2016-17 suggest 6,286 companies incurred Rs
47,19 billion worth of expenditure.
Article By - Business Standard