Published: 17th April 2018
A fellowship with ALC will teach you all there is to know about social entrepreneurship
Access Livelihoods Consulting India Ltd's two-year fellowship encompasses both theoretical and practical aspects of running a social enterprise
Priyanshi Agrahari was a Quality and Data Analyst at AON who quit her job to become a social entrepreneur. Similarly, M Sivaram, who has a PG Diploma in Rural Management, is following his passion of building a social enterprise. Similar are the stories of eight others, who have either quit their jobs or are on their predetermined path to start a social enterprise. And Transforming India Initiative is helping them realise their dreams. So, if you have dreams like theirs, this two-year-long programme, run by Hyderabad-based Access Livelihoods Consulting India Ltd or ALC (which works to promote sustainable livelihoods), might help you realise them. And this time, they are taking 20 fellows.
Every Saturday, experts from social enterprises come down to ALC's campus in Hyderabad to participate in formal and informal interactions
Faheem Ahmed, one of the project managers, takes us through the curriculum. The first six months will consist of classroom-facilitated discussions and these are real-time practitioners. Experts from Caspian Impact Investment Adviser Private Limited will facilitate the finances courses, while Manoj Pavitran, who has been volunteering at Auroville for 22 years, will talk about inner engineering.
Group op: Fellows visit National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad as a part of the Travel Workshop to learn about the designs to create collaborative and inclusive spaces for start-ups
"Fellows will also have to complete travel workshops — a week-long rural immersion programme, where they will be living with farmers for a week. They will have to complete six of these throughout the year," says Faheem, a former Teach For India fellow. And if you think the fellowship is robust enough already, then prepare for what's coming next. "For the next 18 months, the fellows will be working closely with the CEO of an existing social enterprise and will solve five key challenges for them," he explains, adding that they are paid allowances for this. After an intensive two years, fellows will receive six years of support, a scale-up grant of ₹30 lakh and an individual office space, and this, my friend, is the cherry on top.
There are so many challenges in India that need to be solved and so many youngsters looking for a purpose. This is where we come into the picture
Sruthi Kunnel, Head, Transforming India Initiative
The deadline to apply for the fellowship is April 27 and the programme fee is ₹7 lakh. Don't let that number scare you away. Making a valid point, the Head of Transforming India Initiative, Sruthi Kunnel, says, "We never wanted to function as a charity-based model. Think of it as an investment in yourself." She adds that they do provide scholarships and education loans. And for those who think of a sacrificial-type lifestyle when they think of social entrepreneurship, Kunnel clears the air, "You can make a decent profit (not an obscene one), buy a car, live in a city and still create meaningful impact."
In the end: Fellows graduate with the social-entrepreneurship certification from Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA)
Kunnel, who is 36, adds that it is a struggle for them to attract the right kind of fellows as most of them are still being influenced by their parents to get a salaried job. But organisations like QUEST give her hope that the scenario of social entrepreneurship will change. And an organisation like ALC gives us the same hope too.
To know more, click on alcindia.org/tii/