India as a developing nation faces a massive disparity between educational classes. With the majority of students in rural India receiving inadequate guidance in important fields of education such as social sciences, women’s issues, or something as basic as reading and comprehension, there exists a huge void that needs to be filled.
Gray Matters Capital, a US-based impact investor with a gender lens, which focuses on funding education and skilling enterprises in India as well as sector agnostic enterprises whose products and services benefit women and girls globally, conducted the first edition of its 3-day leadership development program in Panaji, Goa from 4th – 6th March, 2019. Called ‘Tales, We Win’ (TWW), the program witnessed the participation of founders of social sector start-ups from India, Colombia, and Mexico as well as a global fellowship program for aspiring social enterprise practitioners.
With storytelling as its guiding theme, the program was held with the focus on helping entrepreneurs in communicating their organization’s vision and story in ways which are compelling and unique, leading to a broader sphere of influence.“Social entrepreneurs tend to embark on a steeper entrepreneurial journey. With failure rates being a lot higher, it is leadership displayed by the founding team that determines their future. Storytelling makes all the difference as it would help such entrepreneurs to define the organizational goal, influence every stakeholder – be it their teams to deliver or winning interest from investors to get funded”, said Debleena Majumdar, Director – Research and Growth, Gray Matters Capital and Founder – Kahaniya on the choice of the program adopting a storytelling theme. “Across the 3 days, participants of the program will learn to FIND, LIVE and TELL their stories of enhancing personal leadership and organizational effectiveness.”
Outlining Gray Matters Capital’s rationale behind the initiative, Joe Iarocci, Board Member, Gray Matters Capital, said, “At Gray Matters Capital, we invest in people and their ideas that have the potential to create impact by solving social issues at scale. Through TWW, we wish to answer the question of how we as investors can attract, develop and support the very best of the global social enterprise leaders to deliver the best for their organizations so that they can create impact at scale.”International executive coaches Patrick Solomon and Priya Ramesh Perumbilavil along with Sujatha Rao, Founder & Director, Viridus Social Impact joined Joe and Debleena as the facilitators of this program at the Goa Marriott in Panaji.
Below are the speakers and the companies they represent:
- Alok Katiyar of MadGuy Labs, a Government exam app in vernacular
- Anusha Bharadwaj of Voice4Girls, a company that empowers adolescent girls in India
- Chitra Ravi of Chrysalis (EZ Vidya), a company that develops a child-centric education curriculum.
- Manjeet Singh of Buddy4Study, India’s largest scholarship network
- Nikhil Saraf of Stones2Milestones, a company that helps children in reading and comprehension
- Soumya Velayudham of Gray Matters India (GMI) helping in School Assessments
- Ellie Rose of Salus Holding (Mexico), a company focussed on disrupting the healthcare and elderly care market by creating jobs for women as nurses
- Josele Ordas of Connovo (Mexico), a company that is replicating successful social businesses to scale their impact
- Juan Manuel Lopera of Aulas Amigas and TOMi Digital (Colombia), a company pioneering technology for Smart Classrooms.
Gray Matters Capital’s investment strategy in India includes: Direct investments via education sector focused funds; funding early-stage education & employability focused enterprises to pilot breakthrough innovations and help established education enterprises in business line innovation with its edLABS initiative; collaborating with stakeholders of India’s Budget Private Schools (BPS) for improving school quality and creating access-to-market opportunities through its Ecosystem Development initiative; besides helping education and skilling enterprises with mobile based solutions to achieve scale through improved user engagement with its six month zero equity accelerator program – GMC Calibrator, all with an eye on bridging gender gaps in education and at the workplace.
Gray Matters Capital is the anchor investor in CBA Capital’s $ 20 million education sector focused fund – Education Catalyst Fund
To know more about Gray Matters Capital and its journey of creating impact across the globe, visit: http://graymatterscap.com/