Social Entrepreneurship

Article on Sridhar Vembu, an ex silicon star and the founder of Zoho Corporation Social Entrepreneurship in Founders Magazine – founders500.com

Sridhar Vembu

An ex silicon star and the founder of Zoho Corporation

Sridhar Vembu, an ex silicon star and the founder of Zoho Corporation, made it to newspapers a few months back for coming up with an unconventional template for rural education. Staying true to Vembu’s vision of the world where students are educated locally and provided a means of livelihood that matches their skills in their villages, the school will hopefully set the ball rolling for reverse migration. The school provides free food along with free education to students and throws grades, degrees, affiliations, or ‘credentialism’ as Mr Vembu puts it, out of the window, drafting a new, groundbreaking model for rural education. This is not the first time Vembu’s experimental projects laced with social missions have garnered the attention of the business world. Zoho University, a sister concern of Zoho Corporation has helped hundreds of students who had to leave their education halfway build a career over the last decade. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoho launched the comprehensive solution Remotely, to help make the transition to work from home easier for companies and BackToWork for the smooth and safe reopening of offices, which will continue to be free for the rest of the year.
Sridhar Vembu, an ex silicon star and the founder of Zoho Corporation, made it to newspapers a few months back for coming up with an unconventional template for rural education. Staying true to Vembu’s vision of the world where students are educated locally and provided a means of livelihood that matches their skills in their villages, the school will hopefully set the ball rolling for reverse migration. The school provides free food along with free education to students and throws grades, degrees, affiliations, or ‘credentialism’ as Mr Vembu puts it, out of the window, drafting a new, groundbreaking model for rural education. This is not the first time Vembu’s experimental projects laced with social missions have garnered the attention of the business world. Zoho University, a sister concern of Zoho Corporation has helped hundreds of students who had to leave their education halfway build a career over the last decade. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoho launched the comprehensive solution Remotely, to help make the transition to work from home easier for companies and BackToWork for the smooth and safe reopening of offices, which will continue to be free for the rest of the year.
Article on Sridhar Vembu, an ex silicon star and the founder of Zoho Corporation Social Entrepreneurship in Founders Magazine – founders500.com

Sridhar Vembu

An ex silicon star and the founder of Zoho Corporation

Urvashi Sahni

A noted educator, social entrepreneur

Urvashi Sahni is a noted educator, social entrepreneur, and writer from India. She is the founder and CEO of Study Hall Educational Foundation, an organization committed to empowering underprivileged girls through education.

‘To change mindsets, you have to start at school. It’s not just about reading and writing and counting. It’s about developing social and political consciousness. You want them to have a good life.’ She believes.

Ms Sahni has worked with hundreds of schools and touched the lives of thousands of girls through her work. She was conferred with the ‘Social Entrepreneur Of The Year‘ award by the Schwab-Jubilant Bharatiya Foundation in 2017 for her contributions.

Harish Hande

An ex silicon star and the founder of Zoho Corporation

Harish Hande co-founded SELCO INDIA (in 1995) with a mission to promote sustainable technologies as a means of eradicating poverty. The company challenged the traditional belief that the poor cannot afford or maintain green energy. It now sells, services, and finances renewable energy to the rural community and has substantially improved the quality of their life.

Harish aims to address global climate change through SELCO. He is convinced that delivering green energy to developed countries is not the answer to the climatic disruption we are witnessing:

“The planet will be destroyed by the billions of people in the developing world who will be forced to use non-optimal forms of energy to meet their absolute basic needs.”

Moreover, the disadvantaged section of society lacks the funds to fulfil their basic energy needs. Access to green and renewable energy will break them free from the debt trap and help them realize their entrepreneurial potential.
A recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Hande’s initiative has blessed more than 500,000 poor households across 6 Indian states with renewable energy resources. After seeing for himself how rural lives could be changed for the better with solar energy, Hande was fuelled with a passion to apply the same strategy in Indian villages. Today, he is globally recognized as one of the pioneers in rural energy engineering.

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Harish Hande co-founded SELCO INDIA (in 1995) with a mission to promote sustainable technologies as a means of eradicating poverty. The company challenged the traditional belief that the poor cannot afford or maintain green energy. It now sells, services, and finances renewable energy to the rural community and has substantially improved the quality of their life.

Harish aims to address global climate change through SELCO. He is convinced that delivering green energy to developed countries is not the answer to the climatic disruption we are witnessing:

“The planet will be destroyed by the billions of people in the developing world who will be forced to use non-optimal forms of energy to meet their absolute basic needs.”

Moreover, the disadvantaged section of society lacks the funds to fulfil their basic energy needs. Access to green and renewable energy will break them free from the debt trap and help them realize their entrepreneurial potential.
A recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Hande’s initiative has blessed more than 500,000 poor households across 6 Indian states with renewable energy resources. After seeing for himself how rural lives could be changed for the better with solar energy, Hande was fuelled with a passion to apply the same strategy in Indian villages. Today, he is globally recognized as one of the pioneers in rural energy engineering.

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Harish Hande

An ex silicon star and the founder of Zoho Corporation

Blake Mycoskie

A noted educator, social entrepreneur

Back in 2006, Blake Mycoskie was on a vacation in Argentina when he met a woman volunteering to deliver shoes to children, who inspired him to start TOMS Shoes LLC, a for-profit company based in California. The one-for-all business model developed by Mycoskie delivers a pair of shoes to a child in need for every sale made of their retail products. However, the company has expanded its objectives now delivering sight, water, bullying prevention services, among others to children in developing countries. 

The ‘One Day Without Shoes’ campaign launched by TOMS garnered attention from the international community to the number of kids in underprivileged families who can’t afford a pair of shoes. Every year, the event encourages people to go shoeless and raise awareness about how we have taken shoes for granted. 

Muhammad Yunus

An ex silicon star and the founder of Zoho Corporation

Commonly referred to as the banker to the poor, Muhammed Yunus, was conferred with the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts towards economic welfare through the microfinance system. Bangladeshis were grappling with poverty after the famine of 1974. They needed a system in place to stimulate local businesses, which Yunus believed could uplift the rural community. From his research and experience working with various government and private organizations in Bangladesh and the US, Yunus laid down the principles of Grameen Bank. Entrepreneurs, who were too poor to meet the eligibility criteria set by traditional banks, were given microcredits to fund their initiatives and bring about their economic development through Grameen Bank. Today, the bank has more than 2600 branches across the world and around 9 million borrowers, 97% of whom are women. The success of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh has inspired many other countries and organizations to follow in the footsteps including the World Bank. It could very well be said that Muhammed Yunus put social entrepreneurship on the map with Grameen Bank as early as in the 1980s.
Commonly referred to as the banker to the poor, Muhammed Yunus, was conferred with the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts towards economic welfare through the microfinance system. Bangladeshis were grappling with poverty after the famine of 1974. They needed a system in place to stimulate local businesses, which Yunus believed could uplift the rural community. From his research and experience working with various government and private organizations in Bangladesh and the US, Yunus laid down the principles of Grameen Bank. Entrepreneurs, who were too poor to meet the eligibility criteria set by traditional banks, were given microcredits to fund their initiatives and bring about their economic development through Grameen Bank. Today, the bank has more than 2600 branches across the world and around 9 million borrowers, 97% of whom are women. The success of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh has inspired many other countries and organizations to follow in the footsteps including the World Bank. It could very well be said that Muhammed Yunus put social entrepreneurship on the map with Grameen Bank as early as in the 1980s.

Muhammad Yunus

An ex silicon star and the founder of Zoho Corporation

Article on Jeffrey Hollender is an American entrepreneur, author, and speaker who co-founded American Sustainable Business Council, Social Entrepreneurship in Founders Magazine – founders500.com

Jeffrey Hollender

An American entrepreneur, author, and speaker

Jeffrey Hollender is an American entrepreneur, author, and speaker who co-founded American Sustainable Business Council, a growing coalition of business networks that foster a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy.
The aftermath of the Vietnam war incited a sense of responsibility and possibility in Jeffrey Hollender. He was convinced that each individual is obliged towards the welfare of others and possesses the capability to bring about a change in the world.

Hollender says: “We will never solve the myriad of complex problems we face one at a time. Social inequity produces poverty, poverty results in hunger, hunger encourages unsustainable agricultural practices that result in global climate change.”

He has written several best-selling books and worked with leading companies like Wal-Mart, Nike, Microsoft, and Kimberly Clark to help them become more sustainable and socially responsible.

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