Be Trust

Be Trust was registered as a not-for-profit trust in India in 2010. The trust has launched a new initiative, the "Be! Fund", which seeks to encourage entrepreneurship among young men and women from low-income groups in India. Mission: To prove the viability - both social and financial - of investing in young entrepreneurs from low income groups to pioneer enterprises that create solutions for bottom-of-the-pyramid communities, their own communities. Be! Fund is India's first venture fund that will invest in young entrepreneurs, age 18-29, from low-income groups, 50% of the investments will be made in women. Be! Fund will provide investments upto USD 10,000 to young entrepreneur...

Be Trust
D 12/A Kailash Colony
New Delhi, Delhi 110048
India
91 11 41739945
http://www.befundindia.com

Board of Directors

Jyoti Somani, Arpana Mehra, Amina Kidwai

Mission

Be Trust was registered as a not-for-profit trust in India in 2010. The trust has launched a new initiative, the "Be! Fund", which seeks to encourage entrepreneurship among young men and women from low-income groups in India. Mission: To prove the viability - both social and financial - of investing in young entrepreneurs from low income groups to pioneer enterprises that create solutions for bottom-of-the-pyramid communities, their own communities. Be! Fund is India's first venture fund that will invest in young entrepreneurs, age 18-29, from low-income groups, 50% of the investments will be made in women. Be! Fund will provide investments upto USD 10,000 to young entrepreneurs to pioneer enterprises that solve problems in their communities. Be! Fund believes that young people who have grown up experiencing poverty have solutions to practical problems they face; they have simply never been given the opportunity before. From water to waste, energy to sanitation, Be! Fund believes that young people who have grown up experiencing poverty have solutions to practical problems they face; they have simply never been asked before. Be Trust's media partner Going to School, a creative non-profit trust based in New Delhi is creating Be! Media, 10 epic movies, 15 radio episodes and 50 books specifically targets young people age 18-29 from low-income groups with inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and enterprises that solve social and economic problems. Each Be! story asks young people to submit their business ideas for social and economic change, to the Fund. In this way, Be! Media creates a pipeline of entrepreneurs for the Be! Fund. Once they have been invested in, Going to School (the storytelling partner to the Be! Fund) will tell their stories every four months through photographs, online articles and short films over the next three years. These will be real stories of young entrepreneurs who have changed their communities through enterprise and can act as new role models. A new generation of young entrepreneurs will come forward. Be! Fund will become a proven social investment fund to invest in more young people. Guiding principles Young entrepreneurs must be from low-income groups, live in slums and villages Businesses invested in must solve local problems i.e. water, energy, shelter, crime + be for-profit so they are sustainable in the long term Business ideas must be the young entrepreneur's own idea. Be! Fund will enable entrepreneurs to be successful with skill and technical support, mentoring, monitoring and investment, but at no point do we want to take the ownership of the idea or the business away from young people. Ownership is key. Investments are made up to 7,000 Euros, as risk capital, paid back out of profits. If a business fails a young entrepreneur is not put into debt We make three year commitments to entrepreneurs (many will repay the investment much sooner), we ask for 12% on the total investment made. Our goal, on exit, is to leave entrepreneurs with a sustainable business that generates income, jobs, and solves a local problem, creating wealth not just for the entrepreneur, but also for their community We have created a unique impact monitoring system, ibe! that allows us to constantly monitor an entrepreneurs' business, produce instant graphs of single investments and across India, and this same monitoring system allows the fund to work at scale across India

Programs

Be! Fund Delhi pilot was launched in January 2011 and will soon be launched in Bangalore. The launch began with a fun Muppet Show on local television cable channels and broadcast of radio shows on All India Radio reaching out to over 1 million people. Be! stories asks young people, "Do you have a business idea that solves a problem where you live?" if so, please contact the Be! Fund by sending a text message, postcard or just call. Be! Media runs for three months, and during this time young people contact the fund. If they pass the criteria, they are taken through three levels of interviews, a site level visit and verification, business planning course until their business plan is ready to be presented to the Investment Committee. The process takes six months from launch of media to the first investment committee meeting to decide to invest in an entrepreneur. With a focus on finding young women entrepreneurs to invest in Be! Fund will do a special campaign asking women to apply to the fund. Be! Fund pilot will invest in 20 young entrepreneurs' age 18-29, who live in slums and villages in Delhi and Bangalore. They will be first time entrepreneurs who pioneer businesses that solve the social, economic and environmental problems in their lives. The fund may extend to Bombay, but the goal is it can operate at scale across India by 2012. This will be possible by raising additional funds based on the success of the pilot stage as well as the mass media running nationwide through national channels. The innovative ibe! Solution being built at the moment, that allows for constant monitoring of the process and investments in young entrepreneurs across India and will be the blueprint for the fund operating at scale. Be! Media Campaign Radio shows - 15 radio shows, each 20 minutes long, air on local radio channels featuring stories of young entrepreneurs who start businesses to solve problems. Each radio episode inspires young people to submit their business ideas to the Be! Fund. Muppet show - a three minute promo in the form of a fun Muppet show will be aired on cable channels across Delhi and Bangalore, and the muppet show ends by asking young people to apply to the fund through SMS, postcard or just call. Poster campaign - 4,000 posters will be put up in slums across Delhi & Bangalore in order to publicize the Muppet show and radio episodes, so young people know when it airs. Who will Be! Fund invest in? Young women age 18-29 from low income backgrounds who live in slums & villages Individuals (not self-help groups), first time entrepreneurs. Entrepreneur must display commitment, ambition, passion, leadership qualities, business acumen, ability to experiment, learn and take risks. Practical problems that Be! Fund businesses solve? Education, Health, Housing, Water, Waste, Energy, Agriculture, Transportation, Communication + Problems identified by young entrepreneurs that haven't even occurred to us, for example, crime How the Be! Fund works? Process from media outreach to selection runs for six months Be! Media goes on air (3 months) Applicants sent text message or send postcard (1-3 months) Be! Fund filters responses (1-3 months) Gateway 1: Entrepreneurs who fit basic criteria are interviewed (Month 2-3) Gateway 2: Entrepreneurs with potential are worked with to create a business plan & are given an opportunity to "pitch" their idea (Month 3-4) Sector experts review - business plans are verified by sector experts. (Month 3-4) Gateway 3: Entrepreneurs who pass Gateway 2 are presented to the Investment Panel (Month 5) Successful candidates start receiving funds & technical support (Month 6) Entrepreneurs are monitored by Be! Fund (over the next 12-36 months, most entrepreneurs start paying back the investment after 6 months, with an agreement of 12% interest on total investment to be repaid). Stories are told by Be! Media & TV channels Entrepreneurs repay investment to Be! Fund (investment plus 12%), 50% risk of no returns Be! Fund becomes a sustainable revolving fund (2013) Monitoring and evaluation Be! Fund team will visit the young women entrepreneurs every four months and will create regular updates in the form of photo stories. At the year of the year Be! Fund will tell their inspiring stories through movies. How will Be! Fund measure impact Be! Fund has its own unique system of measuring impact, it's called the !be! solution. We will do this by asking: What is the impact on the individual entrepreneur and her business? How many entrepreneurs are making money? How many entrepreneurs are repaying the investment as planned? What is the impact on the social issues - including measurements specific to sector and issue? Are these enterprises employing more people? What is the impact on the community in a wider sense? Do entrepreneurs find satisfaction in being an entrepreneur? Is the community happier? ibe! Solution Be! Fund is developing its own unique way of measuring impact - the ibe! Solution. IGATE is supporting the creation of this online database. ibe! will track and quantify social and financial returns for each enterprise over three years and will generate individual entrepreneur/enterprise reports and comparative investment reports.

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