Change Making Incubators for Young & Creative Startups

Chr-cha is an exchange platform and a monthly event organized by the Arch Academy of Design. It attracts people from different walks of life—Designers, Design Entrepreneurs, Models, Artists, Photographers, Media persons, Government officials, NGo/ Civil Society representatives, Educators, Social workers and offers a common platform to discuss view points and opinions on thought provoking and interesting topics over tea and snacks. In this series, the third Chrcha on the topic “Creative Social Entrepreneurship” was held on 29th Nov 2013. Mr Raj Jani who has worked for a long time in for-profit and not-forprofit sectors in India and Africa was the moderator for this event.

Mr. Jani introduced the theme of the discussion – “Creative Social Entrepreneurship” and set the ball rolling with the screening of two movies – ‘FINo’ and ‘Magic Bus’. FINo (Financial Inclusion Network and operation), like any other bank, enables marginalized communities to save, borrow and use financial services. Just that FINo is not a bank and its clientele is not the kind of people who use auto teller machine kiosks. The company’s clients are Rickshaw pullers, maids, paan walahs, chauffeurs, casual labourers and other odd-jobbers who barely manage to eke out a living. The other movie was about ‘Magic Bus’, an NGo believing in Sports for Development. If a slum child was taken away from the squalor of his/her immediate environment to a mountain or sports pitch, it meant the creation of a learning environment unparalleled in the child’s life. Sport is something that is close to young peoples’ hearts and through its inherent attributes of active participation, energy, empowerment and social inclusion it rovides an ideal platform for working with youth and helping them recognize their power and potential. It was the thought of a ‘vehicle’ picking children up and taking them on a fantastic journey that gave birth to the name magic bus.

The participants started sharing their views on the theme. Mr Vikram Joshi, a leading Exporter and a   regular participant of Chr-cha, said that creativity has many aspects; we take whichever one encourages us the most and continue working on that. The name of ‘Kala Raksha’ was cited as an example by the participants. The first design school to be run largely by local artisan communities, Kala Raksha is an extraordinary non-governmental organization, situated in the deserts of Kutch in Western Gujarat. The founder of Kala Raksha- Ms. Judy Frater was born in the United States and holds Masters degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota. Wishing to do something to preserve traditional Indian craft, Judy together with local embroiders, founded the Kala Raksha Trust in 1993. Amongst a long list of honours, Judy, a Fulbright and Ford Foundation Fellow, received an Ashoka Foundation Fellowship in 2003 for establishing the Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya. She won the Sir Misha Black Award in 2009 for Distinguished Services to Design Education. And in 2011, she received the Crafts Council of India Kamala award for service to the field of crafts.

Another participant Ms. Sonal Chitranshi, Fashion Designer from NIFT & Design Manager of Kilol, Jaipur, shared her view that social entrepreneurship should be the vision of a leader and it should be competitive. Mr. Chintan Bakshi, CEo of Startup oasis, a funding organization, laid emphasis on innovation in Social Entrepreneurship. He said that it is important to recognize the need of the people and come up with innovative solutions.

Ms Archana Surana, Founder & Director of Arch Academy of Design linked money with power and emphasized the empowering of individuals. She said that everybody should be empowered and for that the concept of Creative Social Entrepreneurship is very relevant and important. The example of AMUL was cited in this regard. Amul, ventured with a small idea, now has become a revolutionary in the area of social entrepreneurship where all stakeholders have been empowered.

Annie – publicity adviser for Nayab Jewellery; Tulsi Bhati- entrepreneur in the health care business; Chintan Bakshi- a social entrepreneur; Shankar Dangayach– Retd. Dy. Director, DCH; Saurabh- visual merchandiser were among those participants who shared their reflective views in the Chr-cha.

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