Visiting @unltdindia.. #micro finance and #mentorship for socially motivated orgs & #startups including not-for-profits, for profits and social enterprises.

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http://www.unltdindia.org
twitter: @unltdindia

Firstly before I get into this post about unltd, I want to introduce any social entrepreneurs or those who work in non-for-profit or for profit who’re based in Mumbai to Bombay Connection, it’s a hub full of like-minded socially engaged organisations, which is also where unltd India is based, in Bandra. It’s full of people with various skills aimed at developing projects and also creating connections for collaboration etc. it’s a great place for also sourcing people to help with your projects with designers and many more useful professionals based there.

On my second day in India I went to meet up with a woman called Pooja who is one of the co-founders of Unltd in India.

Having been going only for a couple of years, Unltd India – which is part of the unltd international brand – is based in the Bandra district of Mumbai and is focused entirely on supporting social entrepreneurs.

Now to be a social entrepreneur with Unltd it’s important that you have passion; are a good communicator with others; have a good and relatively well thought out idea (part of their three tier structure is to help develop ideas if you are in the intial stages:- read further to find out more) and for that idea to have a socially beneficial purpose. It doesn’t matter if it’s a social business, a not-for-profit or anything else, although it does has to be a long term plan. They don’t support one off ventures or events.

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As mentioned earlier Unltd has a three tier structure for those applying to it for its grants, these three tiers are to distinguish the amount and type of support given to successful applicants.

Tier 1: applicants can approach Unltd for this level grant of 80,000R (£2,500) when they have either already just started up themselves or have an idea which they want to get going. If they are mainly in the idea stage then applicants should approach unltd with a clear idea for a project and how it will work both practically and financially, it also must have a socially beneficial purpose.

Tier 2: is for projects who are ready to be taken on by the individual who’s started it full time. This includes a different level of mentoring which matches the needs of the project and also a bigger grant of 200,000R which includes in it, the amount for the founder of the project to start being paid a salary.

Tier 3: is the Mecca for those who’ve started a project and made it self sustainable. To get this level of funding the projects need to be looking to scale their project either nationally or internationally. Those accepted onto this part of the scheme can look to get 2million rupees (£22/23,000). This, like all other tiers will come with mentor ship support including meetings with active investors, workshops, meetings with consultants and more.

The only way though in which tier three differs from the others is that, if you reach tier three you have a 0-10% interest rate on your loan.

From what I’ve seen in Bombay Connection there seems to be a great community of international and national projects and individuals from all walks of life all working in a similar field in a relatively new and collaborative setup. I highly recommend anyone looking to get into or who already have a startup going to check it out and pass it on to anyone else interested too.

Will keep this post short and sweet and to the point, but hope it’s proven useful, especially to those from India reading this, definitely check out the website to find out more.

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