Monday, March 31, 2008

A Prayaas for Social Entrepreneurs

Prayaas 2008, a Social Entrepreneurship Competition was organized by SIES College of Management Studies (SIESCOMS) in Collaboration with Centre for Social Initiative and Management (CSIM) on Saturday the 29th March 2008 at SIES College, Nerul, Navi Mumbai.

Social entrepreneurship is a growing field that combines social work principles with a business like approach to advance societies and address social problems in an innovative and effective manner, expressed Dr. A.K. Sengupta, Director of SIESCOMS in his inaugural address. The objective of the competition provides an opportunity for academicians, research scholars and students to build business/ social enterprise plans that have positive impact on the societym he added.

Prayaas 2008 had invited entries from NGOs/ groups on social entrepreneurial theme touching poverty, health, education and environment.

Six entries emerged to the final round was presented before the judges for selecting top one and two. WINGS proposed to take up marketing of NGO products in India while NAVKIRAN took the initiative of finding an alternative avenue for farmers. FLAMES spoke about reducing the mental stress of studies on students while another project was prepared to curb female feoticide in India with management techniques. Another upcoming entrepreneur planned out an innovative medical scheme for the middle class and lower middle class families while another volunteer through his expert opinion tried to give dignity to the beggars.

The judges for the event comprised Dr. A. R. K. Pillai, President, Indian Development Foundation (IDF), Dr. Narayan B. Iyer, National Co-ordinator, Indian Development Foundation (IDF), Ms. Kavita Kowshik, Managing Director, Maitreya CSR Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Ganesh Srinivasan, Consultant, Mckinsey & Company.

The presentations were excellent and we tried to judge the project on the ground of innovation, feasability, sustainability and result-oriented approach, said Dr. Pillai. It is the need of the hour that management expertise is used in social areas for building a better society, he added.

We are happy to see young management students taking up social issues and finding a solution and wayout through managerial skills, expressed the judges.

After evaluation and thorough examination, the innovative presentation of medical policy scheme for the families emerged out to be number one. Mr. Denny John who conceived and presented the project of mediclaim policy received a prize money of Rs.10,000/= and a trophy. The runner-up team NAVKIRAN led by the management students Pooja, Dipti and Amrita received a prize money of Rs.5,000/=.

I am indeed happy to receive the first prize and i am confident this will definately give me a good boost to serve the society. I do know there are competition of medical policies in the market, but a lot need to be done in creating awareness on health, said Mr. Denny John.

The trio from Navkiran expressing their happiness of winning the second prize said their approach to give alternative avenues to the farmers and finding market for the agro-products will definately help in curbing farmer suicides.

Prayaas 2008 event was organised by Mrs. Gayatri Vivek, Program Co-ordinator, PGDSEM, SIES College of Management. I am happy that several management students took keen interest in social entrepreneurial programme, Mrs. Gayatri said.

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