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Creating a For-Profit Social Enterprise

In this video, shot on location in India, Harish Hande details why he eschewed the NGO model for a for-profit venture to address the needs of the poor.

“Despite SELCO’s problems with investors, Hande continues to believe that the organization is best structured as a for-profit business rather than as non-profit NGO.  Hande’s time spent in India’s rural areas had left him disenchanted with the NGO model, which he felt dysfunctional...Hande set out to prove that even in serving the poor, a company could be sustainable. By taking a steady, long-term policy toward growth and adjusting expectations for single-digit rates of return, Hande believed SELCO could balance successfully economic and social goals, becoming self-sufficient rather than relying on grant funding to support its mission.”

 From Yale School of Management Case Study #09-033, “SELCO.”