Last weekend Awaaz.De was honored as one of five Growth Prize winners by Action for India, an organization supporting India’s young social innovators. Around 100 social entrepreneurs working in agriculture, health, education, energy, and livelihoods were invited for two days of networking and learning. Among other dignitaries also attending were Sam Pitroda (advisor to the Prime Minister of India), Desh Despande (Deshpande Foundation), Saurabh Srivastava (NASSCOM), and Shiv Khemka (Khemka Foundation). Desh gave an engaging keynote the first evening, some of his insights included:

  • Innovation + Relevance = Impact. For social enterprises, relevance first, innovation second
  • You can’t mandate innovation, only create environments that are conducive to it
  • Social innovation demands local leadership
  • Businesses based on values sustain longest

Awaaz.De was also fortunate to be selected as one of ten organizations to elevator pitch during the main event, with Sam, Desh, Saurabh, and Shiv all in the front row:

The other highlight of the event was connecting with many exciting social innovators and learning about their work all across India. Like last year with Logistimo and Indian Blood Donors, we look forward to working with some of the organizations we connected with this year.

Awaaz.De was honored as one of five inaugural Growth Prize winners, collecting a generous cash and in-kind prize. Jointly organized by AFI and Ashoka Changemakers, the prize recognizes social enterprises that demonstrate the best use of technology to scale their enterprises. Over one hundred applicants were considered, and winners were selected by a jury that included Hayagreeva Rao (Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business) Desh Deshpande, Sam Pitroda, Anand Mahindra, Sushmita Ghosh (President, Ashoka), and Sanjay Kadaveru (Founder, AFI), It was a huge honor and testament to the importance of providing platforms for disconnected people in India to access and share information. We were humbled and grateful for the recognition, and hope to make the entire AFI community proud.

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