IDRC project activities


Villgro and CSIE have executed the 1st year of the project "Learning from pro-poor, market-driven Innovation in India" with grants from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada. Villgro received grants from IDRC, Canada for the project.

The project had three main objectives:
a) Conduct primary research intended to find evidence from social enterprises in India on where innovations have succeeded and failed in reaching the low income market segment, and where there are unmet needs. The information that comes out of primary research will be used as the basis for course materials on innovation and social entrepreneurship
b) Disseminate primary and secondary research on innovation and social entrepreneurship (as practitioner experience is not easily accessible). This research will be disseminated to academics, practitioners and students, resulting in a basic understanding of innovation and social entrepreneurship for all three groups.
c) Monitor and evaluate Villgro’s impact based on the outcomes from innovations incubated, as well as products sold directly by Villgro’s marketing arm, Villgro Stores.

Villgro and CSIE executed this project together and as part of the primary research, CSIE contacted and encouraged academics and practitioners to undertake research in the form of short term (6 months) funded projects. The proposals gathered by CSIE were vetted and recommended for approval by an Independent Research Advisory Committee. The funding was used to manage the sub-project activities and expenses of Project Consultant appointed to carry out the same.

The first round of completed research projects and the institutes that executed them are:

Project Title Host Institute Researcher Project Report
Assessing social enterprises: The need for new parameters Centre for World Solidarity and KICS Joseph Sathish Access report
Scaling-up Social Enterprises – Drivers and Challenges Intellicap Nisha Kumar Kulkarni, Usha Ganesh, Anar Bhatt, Sarah Allen Access report
Inclusive Business Models – Prospects and Challenges IIM Bangalore Sourav Mukherji Access report
Understanding the adoption dynamics of new products among people living in rural India IFMR Selvan Thandapani, Sneha Menon, Santosh Singh, Sunanda Rathi & Purava Access report
How Can Early Stage Social Businesses be taken to the Next Level DASRA Access report


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