Rahul Bhardwaj, Senior Director and Head, Bala Vikasa International Center interacts with global leaders in Social Entrepreneurship as part of the prestigious IVLP
How do you feel about being part of a global exchange program focused on Social Entrepreneurship?
As someone devoted to promoting Social Entrepreneurship in India for sometime now, being chosen for this prestigious program to represent the country is certainly an important milestone. The program provided a great platform to interact with distinguished leaders from more than 10 countries. Insightful conversations about the ecosystem and its growth trajectory over time was quite enriching. The other participants shared their entrepreneurial journey which was also quite interesting to me. The conversations offered new perspectives on how to promote Social Entrepreneurship which is at a very nascent stage in India.
What were some of your key learnings or observations during the program?
One of the most important observations was that the Social Entrepreneurship space in the west is far more structured and streamlined, especially in the United States. The program had leading Social Entrepreneurs, Ecosystem enablers from the US who were sharing about their programs and impact. The different types of programs around Social Entrepreneurship were much more evolved in both quality and scale. Other participants in the program were also involved in creating impact through Social Entrepreneurship models across complex domains like rehabilitation of refugees. The exchange introduced me to different Social Entrepreneurship models that are evolving in the global arena.
How do you see this impacting the work you do at Bala Vikasa?
The program was successful in introducing us to new knowledge and best working models of Social Entrepreneurship from across the world. It also brought together industry leaders from multiple domains and spheres of influence and initiated enriching conversations and connections. As the Head of Bala Vikasa International Center, one among a handful of Social Startup Incubators in India, I believe that I can leverage the knowledge, experience, connections and resources that are now made available to not only strengthen our programs but also the entire ecosystem as a whole. As an alumni, a whole new set of opportunities are now accessible, not just for me, but for Bala Vikasa.