Be! Fund is India's first non-profit risk capital fund for young people who live in poverty. Our big Bollywood movies air on national television and ask young people to submit their business ideas that solve local problems to the Be! Fund. Young people go to three levels of interviews, a site-level visit and verification until their business plan is presented to the Investment Committee. Young people can receive up to $10,000 to start a business that solves a problem, creates jobs and impact.
We don't have the hero stories we need for the time we're in. Young people who live in poverty do not have access to capital to become entrepreneurs who solve local social problems. They've never been asked before to solve India's largest problems. By 2020, there will be over 210 million unemployed young people in India - most will be below the age of 30 - with this pending youth unemployment crisis, we also face pressing problems of water, waste, energy and very few local enterprise solutions.
We provide new access to risk capital to the poorest young people, for their ideas, not ours. We reach them through Bollywood movies and when they are selected they can receive up to $10,000 to start a business that solves a problem. Key criteria: an entrepreneur must be age 18-29, from a low-income group, have a business idea that solves a problem where she lives, and the business must be able to generate income for the entrepreneur and create jobs. We then tell these new stories on TV.
Each investment creates on average 5 jobs, a sustainable enterprise in the community and a success story. The success story will be told on national television reaching 100 million young people causing a massive ripple effect and scale. More young people will want to become entrepreneurs who solve local problems - and we'll finally have the heroes and enterprise solutions we need for the time we're in.