New Report: Impact Investors See India’s Social Entrepreneurs Lacking Basic Financial Management Skills to be Investable

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Over the past four years, the Upaya team has repeatedly heard from impact investors that the pipeline of investable social enterprises in India is frustratingly thin. While these investors regularly hear about interesting concepts, they lament the lack of entrepreneurs who have the business management skills needed to lead such a venture to profitability. In fact, many leading investors have said that a social entrepreneur who does not have a sufficient command of fundamental business tools is not someone they can even really consider an entrepreneur.

Looking to turn these anecdotes into actionable information, Upaya is today releasing the first of a series of spot surveys that dig deeper into investors’ impressions of the entrepreneurs they encounter.

Titled What They Really Think: Perceptions of India’s Early Stage Social Entrepreneurs Among Impact Investors, the series provides data and recommendations to the multitude of incubators, training programs and mentorship networks currently operating in India. The report captures investor opinions about the collective critical skills and competencies of entrepreneurs, and starts a substantive conversation on improving the ecosystem for early-stage social businesses.

In “Spot Survey #1: Financial Management Capabilities,” 18 of India’s 25 most active impact investors shared their impressions of the financial management competencies of entrepreneurs they have conducted some level of due diligence on. The report looks at entrepreneurs' skills in utilizing a variety of financial management tools for decision-making. It also looks at the quality of documentation investors receive from entrepreneurs, as well as the ability of those entrepreneurs to use valuation tools to communicate the financial health and long-term projections of their companies with investors.

Click to download the report.

Upaya receives 501(c)(3) status, changes URL to

As of 31 January 2013, Upaya Social Ventures (EIN 80-0713334) is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Following this change in status, Upaya and Jolkona Foundation have agreed to close out our fiscal sponsorship agreement effective 1 April 2013.

With its nonprofit tax status in place, Upaya has also transitioned its web domain to Going forward, will re-direct to the new domain, while staff will continue to receive emails at both their .org and .com domains.

Upaya's fiscal sponsorship agreement with Jolkona was originally signed in 2011 to ensure that individual donors and grant-making foundations could contribute to Upaya's work prior to Upaya obtaining its own tax exempt status. Under this arrangement, all of Upaya's reporting to the IRS was incorporated into Jolkona's annual 990 filings. However, in keeping with Upaya's value of transparency, Upaya-specific financial statements for 2011 and 2012 have been posted on the Finance and Governance page.

2011 Financials and 501(c)(3) Application Status

Consistent with our commitment to transparency, Upaya is pleased to share its final 2011 financial statements. Click here to download last year's Income Statement and Balance Sheet.

Upaya's application for IRS 501(c)(3) tax designation was submitted in Q1 2012 and is pending determination. 
The organization will continue to operate under its fiscal sponsorship agreement with Jolkona to ensure all 2012 contributions are guaranteed tax-exempt status.

For more information on Upaya's fiscal sponsorship relationship with Jolkona Foundation, click here.