IMPACT EDGE

Business Design for the other 90%

Design usually focuses on the most affluent 10% of the world’s population and the rest benefit from a trickle down effect. Design is a powerful tool for creating solutions that fulfill aspirations; can we focus this on the sectors that need it the most?

Many of the problems that face the 4 billion people who are not part of the mainstream can effectively be tackled by entrepreneurs with innovative solutions that they pursue with ambition, persistence and design for scale. Design is ideally placed with its holistic approach and ability to work in ambiguous situations to tackle the “Wicked Problems” that most social problem present.

Design together with business strategy to create design driven Impact Enterprises can bring market driven solutions to bear on large social problems and make life for people at the fringes of society better, while profitably engaging capital with return to investors.

The primary aim of an impact enterprise is not to maximize profits but to profitably maximize impact.

Impact Edge offers projects that combine business strategy with design thinking, to design impact businesses that seek to create social impact profitably.

Mission

Impact Edge seeks to create an enabling ecosystem to help Impact Businesses to be created and thrive.

Activities

Impact Edge develops an ability to build an enterprise that is directed towards catering to social needs, harnessing business strategy, design thinking and doing, raising and deploying capital and resources and effectively monitoring, validating and iterating solutions for maximum impact.

This is accomplished through immersive engagement with identifying social needs and aspirations, understanding the ecosystems they exist in, designing and validating solutions in a rapid fail forward mode, and creating and implementing sustainable business models to realize and scale the solutions.
It also provides an opportunity for upcoming entrepreneurs to establish their own impact enterprise.

Impact Edge prepares potential entrepreneurs in the livelihoods space, including creative manufacturing and agriculture through a mix of projects, challenges, boot camps and incubation with hands on mentoring.

Projects

Impact Edge works on projects in craft livelihood and agricultural livelihoods across India, undertaken by Impact Enterprises and NGOs/ Govt Organisations creating sustainable businesses. Teams of 4th year students with faculty undertake the projects. We are now in the second cycle of 6 month projects, cycle one started in July 2014, and cycle 2 in January 2015.

Cycle 1 projects were:

  • Song Of the Sea, Sea Shell Craft Enterprise, Kanyakumari
    Sustainable livelihood for people living in tsunami hit regions,
    Sugriya Micro enterprise .
  • Cool Cane Crafts, Cooch Behar Enterprise, West Bengal
    Uplifting marginalized artisans working with sital patti
  • Women of Haryana- Women Enterprise, Swamika, Haryana
    Women’s Empowerment in underdeveloped communities
  • Crop Connect Pvt. Ltd., Arunachal Pradesh
    Adding value to agricultural products and connecting growers to consumers
  • Bio Coal
    Good Coal - using agricultural waste to create and market environmental friendly coal
  • Meghalaya Cultural Crafts
    Creative Cultural Continuity

Ongoing Cycle 2 projects are:

  • Salt of the Earth, Gujarat
    Enhancing artisan incomes by building a gourmet salt business for salt pan farmers in Little Rann Of Kutchh.
  • SunWater, Gujarat
    Developing game changing systems in solar irrigation to transform small farmers livelihood
  • Song of the Sea, Tamil Nadu
    Designing seashell products and market for 50 micro entrepreneurs, scaling up the Impact from 1 enterprise in cycle 1 to 9 micro enterprises in cycle 2.
  • Cool Cane Craft of the East, West Bengal
    Uplifting marginalized artisans working with sital patti, working with 400 -500 sital patti artisans
    Up from 100 in cycle 1.
  • Manipur Weaves
    Making weavers’ livelihood sustainable and aspirational
  • Kauna Phak Reed Mat Enterprise, Manipur
    Professional work environment for artisans
  • Tripura Yoga Mats
    Sustainable, as close to nature yoga mats using natural fibre
  • Swamika Women Enterprise, Haryana
    Women’s Empowerment in underdeveloped communities, taking the learnings of Swamika into an adjoining village Chainssa, and moving Swamika into the production phase.

Incubation
Incubator for early stage livelihoods-impact enterprises and see them through Proof of Idea or Lab Stage, Venture or Proof Of Concept stage through to Accelerator or proof of Business stage and high level funding.

This is proposed to be started through a 15 month MBA level, study and work model that allows early stage entrepreneurs to go through an incubation process whilst simultaneously gaining a dual MBA Degree and Business Design Diploma through an executive education program at Srishti.

Challenges
Challenges are designed to have a large prize money bucket that teams compete for , accelerating focused development in a area of vital need that is not conventionally considered as urgent or pressing. This requires funding support rom foundations and development organizations.
eg. Sewerbot that replaces human beings having to enter sewers to unclog them resulting in 2-3 deaths in India everyday.

The NEXT 2% challenge that looks at increasing India’s current 1.2% of global creative manufacturing exports by another 2% or INR 20,000 crore, in the next 10 years from the current INR 17,000 crore, giving a new lease of life to crafts and the artisanal sector in India.

Partnerships
Industree Crafts Foundation

Partnering Organisations for projects

  • SUNWATER India and Affordable Village Solar, Denver USA
  • SAVE - Saline Area Vitalisation Enterprise Ltd., Ahmedabad
  • SABRAS, Ahmedabad
  • Sankul, New Delhi
  • READ GLOBAL India
  • IL&FS, CDI & Tripura Bamboo Mission
  • PTSLP & TN IFAD
  • ODESH Crafts, Manipur
  • Crop Connect Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi
  • CII/WBSCSTFDC

People

Cluster Head: Jacob Mathew
Cluster Faculty: Ritu Sonalika, Naga Nandhini and Tulip Neel Sinha

Sea Shell Abstraction.


Na Cherra, a business development project for a craft cluster in Meghalaya.


Eco-friendly farming through Crop Connect.


Using agricultural waste to create and market environmental friendly coal.


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