Archives for category: Analysis

It was very interesting to notice the distinction between Social Business and Social Enterprise made by ClearlySo, an online social marketplace which helps social businesses and social enterprises raise investments, get access to service providers and recruit people. ClearlySo says that social businesses are organizations who have dual motives – commercial (profit-making) and social (which they define as SEE = Social, Environmental and Ethical) whereas social enterprises are organizations which, though are sustainable through a revenue generating model, are primarily focussed on creating social impact and hence channelize most of their profits towards that.

With the world of social entrepreneurship becoming more wide-spread, such differentiations will be become crucial with time and are of paramount importance to social investors, foundations and funds. ClearlySo doesn’t talk about the legal structure of these organizations at any point which is another important aspect of how organizations are looked at by investors. In India, a new breed of hybrid entities are sprouting up which are registered as both for-profit and non-profits legally. Such entities are being called social enterprises and can channel donations as well as invite investments, which helps them rise on a double bottom line growth curve.

The definition of social business on ClearlySo in itself is very thought-provoking. What’s interesting to note is that according to ClearlySo, Renewable Energy companies are social businesses by virtue of their very nature whereas pharmaceutical companies are not considered as social businesses due to innumerous controversies around the pharma giants being majorly focussed on making profits and not caring about serving low income communities. Though this kind-of makes sense to some extent, I think the more we try to make this definition objective, the more confusing it becomes. But again, it is important to do that so that people and organizations don’t end up spending most of their time in debating on semantics.

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This came as a pleasant surprise with the start of 2010! The Indian government announced that all new buildings of the public sector undertakings will now have to follow a green start rating. To go down to details, they should have a 3-star rating underĀ GRIHA.

At a time when the world is going through an energy crisis, such government rulings are very crucial and change the dynamics of energy efficiency and usage in emerging economies like India. GRIHA is a national rating system under which green buildings will be rated by technical expertise from TERI, The Energy Resources Institute, headed by, R.K. Pachauri. The aim of a green building design is to minimize the demand of non-renewable sources and maximise its utilisation.

The GRIHA Rating system promotes low energy consumption, limited waste generation, low consumption of water and reduced pollution load and liability. It consists of 34 criteria categorized under various sections such as Site Selection and Site Planning, Conservation and efficient utilization of resources, Building operation and maintenance, and Innovation points. Eight of these 34 criteria are mandatory, four are partly mandatory, while the rest are optional. Each criterion has a number of points assigned to it. It means that a project intending to meet the criterion would qualify for the points. Different levels of certification (one star to five stars) are awarded based on the number of points earned. The minimum points required for certification is 50.