How the Government can support social investment through policy and not fiscal support Late Prof CK Prahlad spoke of “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” in a seminal article in 1998. Since then, fortune at the base of the pyramid (BoP) is being made by corporations, be it through selling shampoos in sachets, or offering pre-paid direct-to home (DTH) TV channels to millions of urban and rural BoP households. While these make money for the companies and may improve the quality of life of the user, sachet shampoo or DTH-TV do not help enhance incomes of BoP households.
India’s Education is a $133 billion industry with $56 billion private spend; of which $40 billion is in K-12 Education. The current K-12 school system in India is one of the largest in the world with more than 1.5 million schools that have more than 250+ million students. But there are significant inequalities in access to education as far as income, gender, social group and geography are concerned. Moreover, the outcomes in Education are demoralising: insufficient improvements in basic skills (as demonstrate by ASER and PISA reports), delivering unemployable youth (employability rate is assessed between 25-30%), huge dropout rates (20.4% GER) and lack of progress in encouraging early childhood education.
Social entrepreneurs are change-makers who harness the power of the “markets” and create social (and environmental) impact, improving the lives of under served.They leave an enduring, sustainable impact with for-profit social ventures, rather than transient relief through charities. They believe that profit and purpose can coexist. Social impact more than economic returns, is the yardstick for their success. In India, social entrepreneurs are a growing phenomenon across sectors: financial inclusion, livelihoods, education, affordable housing, renewable energy, waste management, water and sanitation, and healthcare. In healthcare, social impact translates into the number of lives saved or quality of healthcare services.