In response to the external requests, as well as our internal need to understand better the interface of policy and innovators, PIC launched its Mentor Programme with NCSI 2017 edition.
The programme is structured like a 6-month engagement where the main focus is on Mentor-Mentree engagement. While the infrastructure (like legal, audit helpline) is important, the focus is to be a sounding board, an intimate connect, a guide, friend and no-nonsense business philosopher for the innovator. This approach manifests itself in many ways. For e.g.:
- Making tweaks in the production process that raises the production capacity.
- Making design changes and marketing plans that increases the marginal revenue per unit.
- Creating creative structuring models for innovators that
o creates micro-entrepreneurship at auxiliary level (usually the micro-entrepreneur is a marginal / vulnerable community person)
o allows us to leverage CSR funds in addition to the impact investment in the social enterprise itself
All of these are helping convert some of these social enterprises into businesses where impact capital would be interested in. The first cohort was offered to 17 innovators, 10 expressed initial interest, and finally 7 are deeply engaged in this programme and many first wins have already been secured.