Villgro will expand its education portfolio with funding support from US-based Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
Over the coming years, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation’s funding support will enable Villgro to incubate and provide seed funding to at least a dozen companies (or ideas) that are focused on enhancing learning levels for school-going children or improving employability and income levels of youth from urban low income families in India.
As India’s oldest social enterprise incubator, Villgro has developed a unique approach of working with entrepreneurs at multiple phases of their startup journey – including pre-product, pre-revenue and pre-scale – and offering a combination of mentoring, talent infusion and networks critical to startups working in various sectors.
“This partnership will significantly strengthen our work as one of India’s leading social enterprise incubators. We are grateful for the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation’s support in enabling Villgro’s expansion in the education sector,” said PR Ganapathy, President (India), Villgro.
The Dell family Foundation’s funding support is a part of its strategy to catalyze mission aligned, market based solutions for the urban poor in India.
“Education for low-income students has not traditionally been a focus for incubators, seed funds and angel investors due to the complexities of operating in this market and the high variability in financial returns. This has inhibited the number of quality, customer-centric, education-focused social enterprises,” says Geeta Goel, Director of Mission Investing at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “With its strong track record, hands-on engagement and focus on scale and sustainability, Villgro is suitably positioned to play a catalytic role in incubating this sector in India.”
Marking the next step in Villgro’s model of incubation and sustainability, part of the funding from the Dell family Foundation will go towards Villgro’s social impact investment fund, which in turn will be focused on investing in companies in the education space.