Giving importance to small entrepreneurs and the need for social innovators, Sam Pitroda, adviser to the Prime Minister, said a lot more jobs will come from small entrepreneurs in the next decade than out of government and big companies. “Social innovators would be the key in future to create jobs and don’t expect big number of jobs to come out of the government,” he said at the annual forum called ‘Building Social Innovation Ecosystems for Mega Impact’ recently organised in Delhi by the non-profit Action for India (AFI), which brought together over 100 social innovators to connect with investors, corporate social responsibility professionals, technology titans, corporate executives and government officials.
Pitroda said the idea was to bring innovators and investment communities together to network, share their experiences and showcase examples of success and learning. “The aim is to create products, wealth and jobs with social conscience and social benefits. Economic slowdown gives an opportunity to innovate, the aim is to find a good regional champion and the result will be path-breaking,” added Pitroda.
The forum also saw the launch of many new initiatives, including a network of five social innovation hubs, which will be built with the support of business champions like Raju Reddy of Sierra Atlantic, Lt Gen Rajender Singh of the DLF Foundation, Sangita Reddy of Apollo Hospitals, Srini Raju of Peepul Capital and Dilip Modi of the Spice Telecom/EkSoch Foundation. These hub champions will drive the launch of a social innovation hub in each of five locations across Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
One of the more popular social innovations discussed at the forum was NGO Aakar’s application of technology in manufacturing biodegradable sanitary napkins to advocate the cause of menstrual hygiene. Emergency Dressing, the first-ever haemostatic solution, led by Axio Biosolutions, was another innovation aimed at saving the lives of accident victims by preventing uncontrolled bleeding.
Pitroda and Desh Deshpande, who is the adviser to US President Barack Obama and the founder of Deshpande Foundation, were among the many distinguished influencers who were present at the forum to advocate the cause of social enterprise and entrepreneurship in the country.