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Urvashi Devidayal

Sankalp Lead – India and AVP, Intellecap

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Mainstreaming Impact- Bring Together The Impact Ecosystem That Can Support Business-Led Solutions Working Towards Our World’s Most Pressing Issues

Sankalp is a celebration of entrepreneurship and the overall objective of the Forum is to ‘mainstream impact’.

The Covid-19 pandemic has uncovered the inequities in the Global South whose vulnerable populations and urban megacities have struggled with the basics of access to healthcare, food, water, and livelihoods. Rural populations have struggled with connectivity, and the increasing digital divide has thrown millions of children out of formal education. Millions of women across the world have been disproportionately affected, losing jobs and livelihoods, and have been victims of violence. Climate change continues to be the greatest challenge of our time. In short, the progress we made in the fight towards ending poverty, hunger and inequality has been set back years, if not decades.

This unprecedented time has forced us to see that our current system of development needs to change if we are to achieve the UN SDGs by 2030. Any deliberation or action that looks to solve the world’s most pressing challenges cannot be relegated to a place that is ’niche’ or just confined to a ‘few’. We need to drive home the message that delivering impact for inclusive development is everyone’s business. Leading with an impact focus is now not a ‘good thing to do’ or an afterthought, but is essentially smart economics in the long-run.

In 2009, the Sankalp Forum was started with the singular goal to bring together the impact ecosystem that can support business-led solutions working towards our world’s most pressing issues - climate crisis, smallholder farmers, sustainable agriculture, financial inclusion, livelihoods, water, health and sanitation, among others. The real need for such a platform stems from Intellecap’s commitment to building the ecosystem and empowering entrepreneurs to deliver impact. At its heart, Sankalp is a celebration of entrepreneurship and the overall objective of the Forum is to ‘mainstream impact’. As firm believers that entrepreneurs cannot succeed alone, and that it requires the convergence of knowledge, network and capital for their enterprises to grow, scale and deliver impact – Sankalp is that aspect of our work that represents ‘network’.

Over the past 12+ years, Sankalp has been recognised for its distinct enterprise focus, and spread across 3 continents, we have showcased and discovered 1800+ entrepreneurs through 25+ editions and connected them to 600+ investors. Through Sankalp, we have enabled enterprises and entrepreneurs, helped raise over USD 270+ million in funding, and disbursed over USD 870,000+ in cash grants. To be specific, Sankalp serves a 3-fold agenda: (i) to showcase promising enterprises to investors and others, (ii) to bring global decision-makers of the enterprise-led development space face-to-face with the organizations they serve, and (iii) to drive dialogue around solutions to systemic barriers that hold back enterprises from scaling.

To achieve this overarching objective, there are several goals we consciously work towards. First, broaden the number of funders in the space, whether it is the private sector, the government or VCs. The pool of capital directed towards the realisation of the SDGs needs to exponentially increase. To that extent, also bridge the gap between philanthropic grant capital and impact investment. Second, increase private sector participation in the space - beyond just capital infusion, our efforts are towards engaging private sector companies to work with social enterprises in the corporate supply chain. The idea is to create an environment for collaboration that can support innovation-led solution building. And finally, as an ecosystem platform, our goal is to amplify the status of social enterprises and socialise the idea of impact investing. In the forum, we engage with multiple organisations like the WBG and IFC, and networks like the WEF, to work together and develop a common framework for action to further build the sector.

As a forum dedicated to network building, Sankalp today has grown to be one of the world's largest inclusive development-led platforms where you meet leaders who are driving change, where you hear ideas that lead to transformational change, and where you interact with like-minded people sharing the same vision for change.

The 13th edition of the Sankalp Global Summit 2021 is being held virtually on October 12-14, 2021 with the theme ‘Mainstreaming Impact’. Featuring discussions around agritech, climate change, digital financial inclusion, gender equality in business, circular economy and impact investing, as well as unique networking opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors, the Summit will host 200+ speakers from leading organisations such as World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sequoia Capital, SEWA and UNCDF, and includes two Nobel Laureates. To know more, visit: Sankalp Summit 2021.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house



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