Bangalore only first stop for SVP in India?

Social Venture Partners (SVP), the venture philanthropy network which began in the US 15 years ago, is starting its first India chapter in Bangalore, India with approximately 40 founding partners, including many leaders from industry who see the model of donating money and adding value through volunteering their time as a great way to impact their community.

According to Arathi Laxman, executive director of SVP Bangalore, the organization expects to be able to make its first investment in February or March next year. Beneath the broad aim of poverty alleviation, the fund will focus on livelihoods; they are considering investing in base-of-the-pyramid producer and self-help groups, which will create jobs directly, and in vocational training organizations.

SVP’s focus in the growing Indian social impact ecosystem will be early-stage and growth-stage organizations. ‘Since these organizations will be focused on capacity building, they can best leverage SVP partner talent and volunteering to help them achieve their vision and specific objectives,’ says Laxman. ‘While organizations like UnLtd work with seed-stage organizations and Dasra works with later-stage organizations, SVP is positioned in between and will provide much-needed grants to this group .’ SVP is finding many organizations with which it can collaborate. These include foundations like Ashoka and Tata; active CSR organizations – like Microsoft, Accenture and Dell to name a few; impact investors like LokCapital and Unitus Seed Fund; and educational efforts driven through universities.

Though initially located in Bangalore, the idea is resonating in other parts of India. SVP Bangalore currently has members from Mumbai and Delhi who are interested in starting chapters in those locations.

‘SVP provides one of the most effective models for professionals who are keen to make a contribution to society to pool their expertise, time and their giving and direct it in a disciplined and effective way,’ says Ravi Venkatesan, who is the first founding partner of SVP Bangalore and chairman of the board. ‘With 50 partners coming together in just four months to start SVP Bangalore and with the Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai chapters about to start, it appears that we are tapping into a powerful latent desire in lots of successful leaders to make a difference beyond just their work.’

For more information

Contact Arathi Laxman at arathishan@yahoo.com


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