NSRCEL and Yunus Social Business Fund Join Hands to Support Social Businesses from Rural India

NSRCEL and YSBFB partner for a Rural Entrepreneurship Incubation program
November 10, 2022

NSRCEL- the innovation and entrepreneurship hub of IIM Bangalore, has signed an MoU with Yunus Social Business Fund Bengaluru (YSBFB), the pioneers in social business financing and scaling.

Photo credit: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images/Images of Empowerment

NSRCEL’s Impact Orbit Incubation Vertical recently launched its first-ever Rural Entrepreneurship Incubation program. The program aims to identify, nurture and scale social innovations in rural India. It is the first foray for NSRCEL to understand the challenges to scale for-profit impact businesses from rural India. NSRCEL will support nine early-stage startups in scaling their revenues through specialised businesses and investment-readiness training through this program. The goal of this incubation program is to support at least 25% of the cohort to double their revenue and to directly impact 500-700 livelihoods, and indirectly benefit 2500-3000 lives.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting digitization helped NSRCEL serve entrepreneurs from all over. We also started to see first-time founders moving to rural areas, noticing a local problem or a market opportunity, and innovating for the same. This incubation program is a result of unearthing such ventures with a focus on innovative route-to-market solutions & rural livelihood creation, especially employing local women. We are excited to work with an experienced partner like Yunus Social Business fund Bengaluru (YSBFB), which has worked with such ventures globally in other emerging markets like Kenya, Uganda, Colombia and Brazil. We look forward to having YSBFB team engage with our ventures during our November Bootcamp and ready them for future investments in the impact ecosystem.”- Anand Sri Ganesh, COO, NSRCEL.

While NSRCEL is leading the incubation program, YSBFB will facilitate modules on investment readiness, working capital management, and exposure to different forms of funding, including an opportunity for two ventures to raise debt from the fund.

“YSBFB has always supported social businesses that intrinsically work with rural populations, creating decentralised livelihood opportunities or enabling access to essential products and services. The Rural Entrepreneurship Program comes at an opportune time to build back a resilient India. YSBFB is thrilled to partner with NSRCEL, which has for the last many years promoted the entrepreneurship movement in India.” -Suresh K Krishna, CEO, YSBFB

The following social businesses will be a part of the incubator:

  1. Sahrudaya Foods: Sahrudaya aims to bring regional rural recipes which are tasty as well as healthy to your doorstep. 
  2. Resham Dor:Resham Dor's vision is to revive diminishing craft clusters across India and establish artisans as custodians of their craft.
  3. Kulture Street:Aimed towards building a brand that provides skilled Indian artisans a larger market access (online/offline) and a community of loyal customers that love Indian handmade products, across the globe.
  4. Kalapuri: Kalapuri embraces artisan communities by giving new opportunities, developing artisans into independent entrepreneurs, training and developing artisan communities and providing global market through Kalapuri platform.
  5. IVillage Social Solutions: IVillage aims to address the problem of migration of workforce from rural to urban areas by training rural women to manufacture high quality hand-made products and machine-based stitching processes thus giving them an opportunity to be financially independent. 
  6. Indian Yards: Indian Yards up-skills women from the communities in the Nilgiris to become fine macrame artisans and subsequently enables them towards becoming an independent producer group.
  7. ForSarees: ForSarees is a for-profit social enterprise working with rural artisans, with a vison to revive and popularize indigenous weaves.
  8. Bastar se Bazar Tak: Based in Bastar, the organization is working towards improving the livelihoods of tribal farmers through non-timber forest produce.
  9. Ayang:Ayang Trust's Livelihood program provides training and market access to farmers in the north-east to help increase productivity and income.


With programs specifically catering to entrepreneurs with profit ventures and social ventures, also student and women entrepreneurs, NSRCEL offers its support to various players of the startup ecosystem.

NSRCEL brings together startups, industry mentors, and eminent academicians from its parent institution Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and researchers who thrive on continuous interaction of theory and practice. For details, visit www.nsrcel.org


Yunus Social Business Fund Bengaluru (YSBFB) is an impact fund providing patient debt capital and growth support to social businesses. YSBFB’s mission is to harness the power of business to end poverty and the climate crisis. Co-founded in 2017 by Suresh Krishna and Vinitha Reddy, YSBFB is the India fund for Yunus Social Business Funds gGmbH (Germany), co-founded by Peace Nobel Laureate Prof. Yunus. To date, social businesses in YSBFB portfolio have impacted the lives of 2.4 million people and provided higher incomes to over 25,000 people. Investment Readiness Programmes form part of YSB’s wider ambition to contribute to building the ecosystem in the geographies in which YSB is active.

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