SAGE Foundation to incubate social startups and NGOs from January 2023, in addition to its job skilling activities

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Mumbai : The Shahani Academic and Global Empowerment Foundation (SAGE Foundation), the non-profit arm of The Shahani Group, has announced that effective January 2023, it will take over the brand and operations of UnLtd India, a leading Indian incubator for social enterprises, from Social Entrepreneurs Foundation India (SEFI). Starting January 2023, SAGE Foundation will also incubate social startups and NGOs, in addition to the work it already does towards helping to upskill low-income youth for white-collar jobs. As part of their efforts to scale up the operations of UnLtd India, SAGE Foundation plans to incubate 1500 social enterprises and NGOs over the next 5 years.

Unltd India was one of the first incubators to support early-stage social entrepreneurs and NGO founders. Over the last 14 years, it has incubated 314 social enterprises, including Phool, Arpan, FUEL, and many others. Its incubates have impacted 13.4 million lives and raised Rs. 11.52 billion until now.

SAGE Foundation has been working tirelessly to provide key in-demand industry skills to underprivileged Indian youth, to make them job-ready and secure employment in the BFSI sector, with support from Thadomal Shahani Centre For Management. Till date, they have trained over 12000 youth and have successfully placed over 90% of its graduates with leading Indian companies, such as Deloitte, Accenture, HDFC, Kotak & others.

Both organizations work towards helping India achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 8 (SDG 8) of promoting Decent Work & Economic Growth. Hence, combining these job skilling and incubation activities under one roof allows sharing of resources to reduce costs and enhance scalability. Transitioning the brand and operations of an incubator from one non-profit, Social Entrepreneurs Foundation India (SEFI), to another, SAGE Foundation is the first such transaction of its kind in the Indian non-profit sector. It could serve as a model to other non-profits looking to consolidate their operations.

Commenting on the development, Dr. Akhil Shahani, MD, SAGE Foundation, The Shahani Group, TSCFM, and ask.CAREERS, said, “We are thrilled to bring UnLtd India into our fold, and become a part of their amazing journey. At SAGE Foundation, we have been tackling the pressing social issue of empowering under-resourced youth with the education and skills that will enable them to obtain sustainable livelihoods so that they may uplift their and their families’ lives through white-collar employment, which offers job security and better incomes, as opposed to the daily wage jobs they would otherwise have to take. By adding UnLtd India’s brand and its operations, we have further deepened our commitment to solving India’s social problems – this is a natural extension of the work we have already been doing, and we now look forward to helping social entrepreneurs and NGO founders in realising their vision for the betterment of Indian society. UnLtd India and Anshu Bhartia have already done some really excellent work in the past decade and a half. We intend not only to continue these efforts but also to scale up the operations exponentially.”Discussing the announcement, Anshu Bhartia, CEO, UnLtd India, said, “UnLtd India has been committed to serving a critical need to support solutions that can rectify the gaps in Indian society, in particular the need to increase the income and reduce the vulnerability of underserved communities. Dr. Shahani has been a founding and governing board member of UnLtd India, and we are glad that the organisation will be scaling under the umbrella of The Shahani Group and with his leadership. This will ensure that UnLtd India’s focus on supporting social entrepreneurship will not be diluted and that the organisation will be able to help many more social entrepreneurs and NGO founders every year.”