social enterprise


Creating Social Value

Posted on November 27, 2010 by Tara Thiagarajan in Blog. Comments Off on Creating Social Value

We just sponsored Sociopreneurship 2010, an event that brought together social investors, industry experts and the media for panel discussions and also recognised and showcased social innovations and entrepreneurs. This event is timely in a country like India and is a mark of the shift in thinking away from non-profit models to market based solutions that can operate at large scale and therefore create social value more systemically.

When we begin to talk specifically about ‘social’ entrepreneurship though, it really begs the question: What does it mean to create social value? I think we all have a notion of what it means but when you try to define it and measure it, it gets quite murky and difficult. One fundamental implicit assumption of social value is social equity or equality of opportunity and access. In this … Read More »


The Madura Experiment

Posted on March 27, 2010 by Tara Thiagarajan in Blog, Microfinance, Writing. Comments Off on The Madura Experiment

Madura is a for-profit social enterprise whose core business is providing small unsecured loans to the poor. In India and around the world microfinance is very much an evolving sector. Today microfinance is practiced either for-profit or not-for-profit, each with its own unique drivers.

The prevalent for-profit approach is scale focused and profit driven. In this model the goal is to create a streamlined process for the disbursement and collection of loans that allows loans to be pushed out as rapidly as possible. Interest rates for this model generally range between 25 to 40% in India today. This is profitable business. Unfortunately it has also been widely publicized and hyped as a path out of poverty. On the positive side, it provides a conduit for more fund flow into the ‘subsistence’ economy and over time competition will result in innovations to … Read More »