The companies can play a very significant role in enhancing and scaling-up social projects being run by social enterprises. As in the above case study, many of the products/services which are offered by social enterprises to the local community, involve a huge amount of initial capital costs to set them up. As communities at the bottom of pyramid do not have enough purchasing capacity to set up these capital intensive products/services, a company can come in as an external funder who can facilitate setting up of these units and in turn can do a great service to their local communities as part of their CSR efforts.
Collaborations between companies and social enterprises can be mutually beneficial and an effective way of complying with existing laws and regulations. Sahaas’ extensive experience in working with companies demonstrates the values underpinning successful partnerships – genuine and deep commitment, clarity and sensitivity from the corporates and high quality, cost effective and professional services from the social enterprises.
The partnership between UTMT and The Taj Group is an example of both community development as well as market creation. RBS’s partnership with UTMT has made headway in a much needed but often neglected service – monitoring. These partnerships therefore are firm indications with the fact that companies can partner with social enterprises in ways beyond just financial support.
Awaaz De’s partnership with Ambuja Cements Foundation is a great example of how two entities with complementary resources can collaborate with each other to create social impact. ACF had the resources and content to support the farmers in their work but did not have an effective medium to channel all of this valuable information. Awaaz De’s easy to use mobile phone voice platform proved to be the right channel since the product was easy enough to use and could allow for factors such as local language and cost. The partnership also highlights the importance of flexibility in such a collaboration to allow for constant evaluation and improvement.
The partnerships between SSP and BP and First Energy are extremely unique and largely unexplored in the realm of Corporate-Social Enterprise collaborations. These exemplify extremely mature initiatives since they were actually able to utilize the strength that laid within the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’ and were able to partner with the women both in the capacity of ‘entrepreneurs’ and ‘end customers’ as well. The companies here have been able to work with the social enterprises for product development as well as rural marketing and interestingly this achieves two goals- strategic initiatives that create social impact and creation of new markets to enhance their business value as well.
Both these partnerships are examples of how a partnership between a corporate and a social enterprise can be made through ways other than the conventional CSR funding route. These partnerships were made based on Shikshangan’s expertise in this domain. Corporates who are looking to enter technical partnerships with social enterprises where they are involved in co-designing these interventions can take several pointers from Shikshangan’s experience.
The partnerships that Banka BioLoo has built with the different types of companies are direct indications of the simplest means through which corporates can invest in clean sanitation practices. These partnerships are also examples of strategic CSR wherein companies are able to both fulfil business objectives through increased productivity with healthy workers and engage their community also consisting of their contract workers who are important stakeholders. This will especially be true for any company with a community presence, such as a manufacturing plant(s) or onsite construction. These partnerships also exemplify how partnering with a company can help a company scale in size and visibility very quickly.
Corporate partnerships for vocational training adopt a give and take approach. As part of their CSR initiatives, corporates can identify the employment needs of their local community and mobilize youth for skill development. At the end of the training programme provided by the social enterprise, the skills of the trained workers are pumped back into the system to contribute to the working of the company or cater to other industry needs in general. Hence, such a partnership is a win-win for all the stakeholders.
In March 2013, Vodafone Foundation undertook a journey from Delhi to Mumbai in a red auto-rickshaw. The journey spanned five states and included meeting twelve extraordinary women and featured nearly fifty women whose contributions to betterment of society are laudable. The campaign was very successful in investing Vodafone’s different stakeholders and raising substantial funds for three NGOs working in women empowerment.
The Challenge India’s national housing shortage is estimated at 18.78 million homes, according to Government of India’s Ministry for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. Housing should be a fundamental right as it affects core human issues – quality of life, security, and basic dignity. Unfortunately, low-income households are unable get access to proper housing due […]