IIMCIP is an incubator partner to the the INVENT program with support from DFID, UK Government in association with Technology Development Board (TDB), Government of India. The INVENT program is spearheaded by Villgro Innovations Foundation as the lead incubator and aims to support social enterprises by providing funding and capacity building to four government affiliated incubators (IIT Kanpur, IIMCIP, Start up Oasis and KIIT TBI) in the eight low-income states (LIS).

The program is designed to create a platform to support for-profit businesses, which address one or more needs of people, are based on technology or business model innovation, are scalable, and capable of raising further funding from other investors. The support shall include, but not be limited to provision of funding, intense mentoring, knowledge and access to capacity building programmes, support services, and relevant networks. The objective is to identify and incubate for-profit social enterprise startups, working with innovative business ideas in a three years time frame.

What is a Social Enterprise

A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being—this may include maximizing social impact alongside profits for external shareholders.

Social enterprise applies an entrepreneurial approach to addressing social issues and creating positive community change.

A social enterprise is a revenue-generating business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to deliver profit to shareholders and owners.

Who is a Social Entrepreneur?

Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change.

As in other countries, India too, social entrepreneurs are a growing phenomenon bringing positive change to several social areas ranging from education to healthcare, renewable energy, waste management, e-learning and e-business, housing and slum development, water and sanitation, etc. The key aim of these Social enterprises is to introduce sustainable and dignified living to the under privileged and the marginalised citizens of India.

Typical sectors of social enterprises

  • Affordable Healthcare – The affordable healthcare sector in India is at a nascent stage. Affordable healthcare providers reduce the cost of service delivery through innovative operating models. Over 60 per cent of the population in India lives in villages and small towns while 70 per cent of medium-to-large hospitals are located in metros and large towns. In addition, 80 per cent of the demand is for primary or secondary care and only 30 per cent of hospitals provide these. Thus availability and affordability remain a key concern in healthcare coverage.
  • Affordable Housing – According to the Twelfth Five Year Plan document, the gap in the urban housing market is estimated at 18.8 million dwelling units. Moreover, about 73 per cent of the self-occupied units are in bottom 40 per cent of the urban households. Affordable housing developers create economic value by minimizing construction cost and completion time through integrative technical solutions and process innovations.
  • Water and Sanitation – Water sector can be broadly classified into three areas: water harvesting and storage, water supply and distribution, and piping and waste management. Social Entrepreneurs in water space are both for and not-for profit enterprises. Social entrepreneurs are typically involved in rain-water harvesting, community water treatment, point-of-use filtration, and small-scale water networks. Typical working models for sanitation management are household toilets, pay-and-use community toilets and ‘ecosan’ toilets where toilet waste is used to create biofuel.
  • Agriculture – Agriculture and allied sectors provide livelihood to over 70 per cent of the rural population in India. Social enterprises working in this sector create economic and social value by eliminating inefficiencies from the current value chains. These enterprises are broadly categorized as: those supporting the value chain pre-harvest or post-harvest market links as well as those involved in the dairy production and market linkage.
  • Clean Energy – Social enterprises enter this space in order to enable access to environmentally friendly, affordable energy. They play a key role in improving living standards of poor households. Roof-top solar lighting and low smoke cook stoves are some of the initiatives in this space.
  • Education – It is estimated that 4 per cent of children never start school, 58 per cent do not complete primary school education because of reasons ranging from inadequate infrastructure to lack of motivation, and poverty. Social enterprises are very active in the education of the under privileged children. They work around these challenges through advocacy and capacity enhancing solutions. These enterprises cater from early childhood to adulthood and exist in formats such as pre-schools and after-school classes, e-learning and vocational and skill development institutes.
  • Livelihood promotion – Social entrepreneurs in this space are broadly classified into two categories: entities that promote livelihoods and those that facilitate skill development. In most livelihood enterprises, the producers or artisans hold majority ownership. Entrepreneurs in the skill development sector are mostly structured as for-profit entities, but with low or subsidised or free education to the beneficiary.
  • Financial Inclusion – Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) act as financial intermediaries, offer products and processes aimed at serving economically weaker sections of the society. At present, only 10 per cent of the total demand for microcredit is met by MFIs. The Self-Help Group Bank Linkage Program by the RBI promotes financial transactions between commercial banks and self-help groups (SHGs). There are four stages in a SE life cycle – Pilot, Start up, Growth and Steady phase.


What are we offering

  • Seed Funding: IIMCIP aims at providing seed funding support upto 25 Lakhs* to all incubatees under INVENT program and ensuring successful exit in 18-24 months time frame.
  • Dedicated Mentorship: Mentor pool comprising of IIMC Alumni, Faculty, Entrepreneurs, and investors with expertise on different domains
  • Plug and Play workspace: With computer, internet, printing and conferencing facility.
  • Support Services: Legal, Secretarial, IT Infrastructure support provided by competent service providers at preferential rates.
  • Capacity Building programmes on various aspects of entrepreneurship at IIMC campus

*Terms and Conditions apply

Who can apply (Eligibility)

  • Social entrepreneurs who have an early stage venture or have an innovative idea capable of creating social impact along with prototype or working model or proof of concept.
  • The applicant must have the principal business unit (for existing businesses) or proposes to set up principal business unit (for those who have not yet started operations) in West Bengal / Jharkhand / Orissa / Bihar / Madhya Pradesh / Uttar Pradesh / Rajasthan / Chhatisgarh. The existing business should be validly incorporated and running in accordance with applicable laws of the state and should not be subject to any litigation or other disputes with respect to the plan, prototype or working model being followed. The proposed business should not be subject to any legal restrictions in the respective state.
  • The business plan or the early stage venture should not be an extension of the applicant’s family business or backward / forward integration with any existing business.
  • The venture or the plan should have a commercially viable and scalable business model.
  • The applicant should be able to verbally communicate in Bengali / Hindi/ English


How to Apply

To apply for incubation at IIMCIP, please click here to download the Application form. Completed application form should be sent by email to

Recent Activities

To view our INVENT related activities click here