August 16, 2018

Tata Social Enterprise Challenge begins hunt for social innovators

National level competition to find India’s most promising early-stage social enterprise; introduces hackathon for participants in 7th edition

Kolkata: Tata group in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM Calcutta) announced the 7th edition of Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2018 to find India’s most promising early-state social innovators. The challenge is a platform to identify social entrepreneurs to build sustainable, scalable and measurable social impact. This year, the programme has introduced an additional element – the Tata Social Enterprise E-Hackathon, an online contest for college students to share a solution for a specific social challenge that will be announced on the website soon.


Maximum of 20 teams will be selected for semi-finals and will be provided up to 3 weeks of mentorship support, including 4 days at the IIM Calcutta campus.

Funding Opportunity
Shortlisted teams for the semi-finals and finals will have an opportunity to pitch to India's largest social VCs for seed funding.

The finalists will get a chance to pitch for incubation at IIM Calcutta Innovation Park.

Cash Awards
The total prize money is Rs.6 lakhs for the top three teams. The semi-finalists will receive travel grants.

This challenge is open for teams who either have an early stage venture (not older than three years) or a promising idea with a plan that can create sustainable social impact in India. They can submit their business plans online, by logging onto Impact Proposals (detailed business plans) are invited in the areas of agriculture, food and dairy, healthcare, water and sanitation, technology and development, education & skills development, housing, handicrafts, energy, and microfinance/financial inclusion. The ventures will be judged on three parameters - Business Model, Social Impact and Sustainability.

The challenge invites the public to nominate, social enterprises that they know of and who fit the eligibility criteria. The last day to submit the Impact Proposal (business plan) online is September 30, 2018.

Through this challenge, selected social entrepreneurs will be offered mentorship support, funding opportunities and an opportunity to pitch for incubation at the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. Some of the qualifying ventures of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge, which have been incubated at the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) are ONganic Foods Pvt Ltd, Aroghya Medtech Pvt Ltd, Doctors For You, SwitchON-ONergy, Edwell Solutions, Bodhi Health Education and Ultrasafe Ultrasound.

Harish Bhat, brand custodian, Tata Sons said, “The Tata Social Enterprise Challenge provides a platform for entrepreneurs who wish to find solutions that will have a social impact in India. In the past six years the challenge has moved social entrepreneurs from all parts of India into the limelight; it provides social start-ups with an ecosystem that gives them access to mentors, networks and introduces them to venture capitalists.”

Prof. Ashok Banerjee, professor – IIM Calcutta & founding member – Tata Social Enterprise Challenge said, “Tata Social Enterprise Challenge is now recognized as a flagship programme on social entrepreneurship. The quality of applicants has significantly improved over the past six years. Also, we have witnessed remarkable growth of past Tata SE Challenge winners. We are looking for budding social enterprises who are ready to scale up and create impact at the national level and firmly believe that Tata Social Enterprise Challenge will help establish a network between budding entrepreneurs and funding partners.”

As a part of the challenge, seminars will be held across eight cities to create awareness, interest and desire among graduate and post-graduate students to engage with the social enterprise ecosystem. The challenge also leverages interactive digital and social media platforms such as Tata Social Enterprise Challenge website (, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to create and disseminate knowledge about the status of Social Entrepreneurship in India.

Tata Social Enterprise Challenge is a unique initiative, undertaken jointly by an educational institution and a business group, to promote the spirit of social entrepreneurship in India. Started in 2012, it has received over 1000 entries till date. The initiative is being supported by some of the most prominent Venture Capitalists in the social entrepreneurship space.

For registration criteria and procedure, interested applicants can log onto