Earlier this year, we at Upaya wrote about the tenacious female founders in our portfolio and how their companies were outperforming the others. We asked them what piece of advice they would give to other aspiring women entrepreneurs. From their insights, several themes emerged. . .
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.
Upaya's Director, Business Development Sreejith Nedumpully has been invited to speak at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) Vista '14 "Entrepreneurship Conclave." The event gives aspiring entrepreneurs an opportunity to speak with accomplished leaders in a conversational forum.
Sreejith will join reBus.in Co-Founder Phanindra Sama, BigBasket Co-founder Vipul Parekh, Bangalore Chapter of Mumbai Angels Head Veena Avadhanam, N.S.Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) professor K Kumar, and filmmaker, author, and entrepreneur Varun Agarwal as speakers.
Vista'14 is IIMB's Annual International Business Summit and entrepreneurship competition. The Summit will be held in Bangalore September 26-28.