Azim Premji University announces the winners of its 5th Social Enterprise ‘Idea’ Challenge

Azim Premji University announces the winners of its 5th Social Enterprise ‘Idea’ Challenge

December 19, 2020, Bengaluru. The Azim Premji University Social Enterprise cell has been hosting a national level Social enterprise ‘idea’ challenge among School, college and University students across India. The 5th National Social Enterprise Idea Challenge was on “Response to COVID – 19 crisis”.  The Cell invited Ideas from students to help institutions, communities and individuals to face and overcome many issues that are coming up with the COVID – 19 crisis.

The 5th year of the National level Social Enterprise Idea Challenge received 85 submissions from students all over India. The Jury members shortlisted 10 teams for final presentations and selection of winners.


1.      Winner

Jal Kumbi from University of Calcutta

Project Description – Aims to create floating gardens in ponds to cultivate organic vegetables and create employment for the Musahar community which consist mainly of landless labourers.

2.      1st Runner Up

Enactus JMI from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

Project Description – Aims to manufacture biodegradable face masks and sanitary napkins, both of which would be made from abaca fiber, to reduce the accumulation of waste and offer a cheap and effective alternative to disposable masks and sanitary napkins providing livelihood support to domestic violence survivors.

3.      2nd Runner Up

De-Covify from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Project Description – Solution for minimising direct and indirect transmission of COVID-19 through two products named ‘Visage’ and ‘Cov-Ring’. Visage consists of a cotton mask and a PET visor attached to it to prevent droplet transmission. Cov-Ring is a hand gear designed to prevent direct skin exposure to surfaces.

“We have been organizing this Social Enterprise Idea challenge for students for the past last 5 years with an objective to give a visible platform to young and innovative minds with social impact ideas to solve some of our burning social issues. We are glad that these student-led ideas have been noticed by mentors in the social enterprise eco – system and funders. This year brought forth many ideas to tackle issues related to the Covid crisis and we hope that with mentoring and handholding in the initial months, these ideas will realise their true potential.” said Nazrul Haque, Faculty at Azim Premji University.

The shortlisted teams are from:

IIM, Bengaluru     IIT Delhi L’ecole Chempaka International, ThiruvananthapuramSardar Patel Vidyalaya, New Delhi
Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New DelhiMiranda House, New DelhiIndian Institute of Public Health, GandhinagarJamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi University of Calcutta, Kolkata  

Brief profiles of the Jury members:

Venky Natarajan is co-founder & partner at Lok Advisory Services. Prior to Lok, he was with Intel Corporation and Intel Capital doing early stage technology venture capital investments. Since 2006, Venky has been involved with the Financial Inclusion space in India as an investor and as a member on boards of directors. Venky was also chair of the Small Finance Bank transformation committee at Ujjivan Financial Services.

Anuj Sharma is an entrepreneur himself; founder of ALSiSAR IMPACT. He is also a visiting faculty at TISS, involved with their social enterprise Cell and his passion is to foster entrepreneurship across geographies & to facilitate future leaders and entrepreneurs specially from underprivileged background

Richa Govil is the director of School of Development, Azim Premji University. She has worked for about 20 years in roles spanning business strategy, school education, agricultural interventions, social enterprises, teaching and training. Richa’s areas of interest include the role of women in agriculture, interlinkages between agriculture and household nutrition, participation of small producers in commodity value chains and farmer producer companies.

Azim Premji University’s ‘Social Enterprise Cell’ is a platform that provides visibility to young and innovative minds in addressing social issues and connects the ideators with mentors and funders from the social enterprise eco system.

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