In India, a new wave of social impact startups is emerging, driven by a passion for creating positive change and addressing pressing social and environmental issues. These startups are not only focused on profitability but also on making a meaningful difference in the lives of people and the planet. They employ innovative solutions, sustainable business models, and a deep commitment to their missions. In this article, we will delve into the world of social impact startups in India and explore the top 20 companies that are driving change and transforming communities. We will analyze their founders, establishment year, targeted audience, and the remarkable impact they have had. Join us as we celebrate these inspiring startups and their potential for scalability and long-term impact.
Top 20 Social Impact Startups Making a Difference in India
Founder: Madhu Pandit Dasa
Established Year: 2000
Targeted Audience: School children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds
Impact: Akshaya Patra addresses the issue of hunger and education by providing nutritious meals to school children. Their innovative solution of centralized kitchens and delivery systems has positively impacted the lives of millions of children, improving their nutritional intake and educational outcomes.
Founder: Harish Hande
Established Year: 1995
Targeted Audience: Rural communities without access to reliable electricity
Impact: SELCO Foundation focuses on sustainable energy solutions for rural areas. They provide solar-powered systems for lighting and other basic energy needs, empowering communities and improving their quality of life while reducing carbon emissions.
Founder: Anshu Gupta
Established Year: 1999
Targeted Audience: Underserved communities, especially in rural areas
Impact: Goonj addresses the issue of poverty and lack of access to basic necessities by collecting and distributing essential items like clothing, sanitary pads, and school supplies. Their unique approach involves using donated materials as a currency for community development, fostering dignity and self-reliance.
Founder: Samson Daniel
Established Year: 1978
Targeted Audience: Elderly individuals in need of support and care
Impact: HelpAge India works towards improving the lives of the elderly through various initiatives, including healthcare, income-generation programs, and advocacy for their rights. They have had a significant impact on elderly individuals, ensuring their well-being and social inclusion.
Founders: Amrita Saigal, Kristin Kagetsu
Established Year: 2015
Targeted Audience: Menstruating women with limited access to affordable sanitary products
Impact: Saathi produces biodegradable and affordable sanitary pads made from locally sourced banana fiber. Their sustainable solution not only addresses menstrual hygiene needs but also reduces environmental waste, benefiting women and the planet.
Founder: Safeena Husain
Established Year: 2007
Targeted Audience: Out-of-school girls in rural areas
Impact: Educate Girls focuses on improving girls’ education by mobilizing community volunteers, enrolling girls in schools, and addressing gender disparities. Their innovative model has led to increased enrollment and retention rates among girls, empowering them through education.
Founder: Neha Juneja, Ankit Mathur
Established Year: 2011
Targeted Audience: Rural households relying on traditional cooking methods
Impact: Greenway Appliances offers clean and efficient cooking solutions such as biomass cookstoves. Their products reduce indoor air pollution, lower fuel consumption, and improve health outcomes for households, especially women and children.
Founders: Arpit Dhupar, Kushagra Srivastava, Prateek Sachan
Established Year: 2016
Targeted Audience: Industries contributing to air pollution
Impact: Chakr Innovation addresses the issue of air pollution by converting emissions from diesel generators into ink and paints. Their innovative technology reduces pollution and promotes a cleaner environment, making a significant impact on urban air quality.
Founder: Gautam Prakash
Established Year: 2013
Targeted Audience: Youth and communities
Impact: Reap Benefit empowers individuals, especially youth, to become problem solvers in their communities. Through their programs, they address various social and environmental issues, encouraging sustainable actions and driving positive change at the grassroots level.
Mann Deshi Bank
Founder: Chetna Gala Sinha
Established Year: 1997
Targeted Audience: Women entrepreneurs and farmers
Impact: Mann Deshi Bank provides financial services and training to women entrepreneurs and farmers, empowering them economically. Their inclusive approach has resulted in increased financial inclusion and economic independence among women in rural areas.
Founders: Saumya, Kaushik
Established Year: 2015
Targeted Audience: Small farmers
Impact: Kheyti offers affordable and scalable greenhouse solutions to small farmers, enabling them to grow high-value crops throughout the year. Their innovative approach helps farmers increase their income, improve food security, and reduce the impact of climate change.
Founders: Edith Elliott, Shahed Alam, Katy Ashe, Mansi Shah
Established Year: 2014
Targeted Audience: Patients and their families
Impact: Noora Health provides training and tools to patients and their families to become active participants in the healthcare process. By empowering individuals with knowledge and skills, they improve health outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions.
Founders: Anirudh Arun, Shantanu Mathur, Jaison Jose
Established Year: 2012
Targeted Audience: Government departments and agencies
Impact: Samagra develops technology solutions to help governments improve service delivery and governance. Their innovative platforms and tools enable efficient and transparent operations, leading to better public services and enhanced citizen engagement.
Founder: Madhuri Eunni
Established Year: 2013
Targeted Audience: Waste pickers and artisans
Impact: Aarohana EcoSocial upcycles plastic waste into sustainable products and provides livelihood opportunities to waste pickers and artisans. Their innovative approach tackles the issues of waste management, poverty, and environmental conservation simultaneously.
Founder: Akshat Ghiya
Established Year: 2013
Targeted Audience: Individuals and businesses with electronic waste
Impact: Karma Recycling offers an e-waste recycling and buyback program, reducing the environmental impact of electronic waste and promoting responsible disposal. Their efforts contribute to a cleaner environment and the recovery of valuable resources.
Founder: Poonam Bir Kasturi
Established Year: 2006
Targeted Audience: Urban households
Impact: Daily Dump promotes composting and waste segregation practices among urban households. Their innovative solutions and products enable individuals to convert their organic waste into nutrient-rich compost, reducing landfill waste and promoting sustainable living.
Founders: Gaurav Shorey, Akash Sharma, Deepak Bhawnani
Established Year: 2015
Targeted Audience: Businesses and organizations
Impact: SustLabs provides energy management and sustainability solutions to businesses, helping them reduce their carbon footprint and adopt sustainable practices. Their innovative technologies and consulting services contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious corporate sector.
Founder: Bunker Roy
Established Year: 1972
Targeted Audience: Rural communities, particularly women
Impact: Barefoot College empowers rural communities by providing education and training in areas such as solar engineering, healthcare, and entrepreneurship. Their approach focuses on skill-building and knowledge transfer, enabling individuals to become change agents in their own communities.
Founder: C. P. Vishwanath
Established Year: 1996
Targeted Audience: Children from low-income backgrounds
Impact: Karadi Path develops innovative educational resources and programs to improve English language skills among children from marginalized communities. Their multimedia approach and teacher training initiatives have had a significant impact on children’s learning outcomes and educational opportunities.
Founder: V. K. Desai
Established Year: 2004
Targeted Audience: Cotton farmers and consumers
Impact: Chetna Organic promotes organic farming practices and fair trade principles among cotton farmers. They work with smallholder farmers to ensure sustainable agriculture, fair wages, and safe working conditions, thereby promoting a more ethical and environmentally friendly textile industry.
social impact startups in India exemplify the power of entrepreneurship in creating positive change. Through their innovative solutions, targeted approaches, and remarkable impact, they are addressing critical social and environmental issues. By challenging existing norms and driving transformative change, these startups are shaping a more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable future for India and beyond.
The top 20 social impact startups in India are leading the way in driving positive change and making a difference in various sectors. Their mission-driven approaches, innovative solutions, and sustainable business models are creating lasting impact on social and environmental issues. From education and healthcare to sustainability and empowerment, these startups are revolutionizing the way we tackle challenges and create a better future. Despite the challenges they face, their potential for scalability and long-term impact is promising. By fostering collaboration, supporting innovation, and creating an enabling ecosystem, we can further amplify the impact of these startups and drive transformative change in society.