Upaya Social Ventures today announced the successful completion of the first workshop of its inaugural acceleration program with the theme: “Formalizing the Informal Sector.” The eight participating companies were selected from a competitive pool of 60 applications by a committee of impact investing and social sector experts. They represent six cities across India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Rishikesh, Varanasi and Chennai.

“These companies all impressed us with a remarkable potential for scale and commitment to social impact. We believe these entrepreneurs are building companies that can successfully create opportunities and livelihoods for the poor who are too often shut out of formal and reliable work.

— Kate Cochran, CEO

The companies are taking part in a six-month Upaya program that includes three four-day workshops, mentoring from a successful professional, and culminates in an investor showcase where the companies can connect with early stage impact investors. At the end of the program, Upaya expects to select between one and three ventures for its own investment.

A complete list of the participating companies includes:

  • Helper4U Services LLP,  Meenakshi Gupta Jain, Mumbai
  • JobNukkad Services Pvt Ltd,  Ankur Mehta, Mumbai
  • Kabadiwalla Connect Private Limited, Siddarth Hande, Chennai
  • KhanaGaDi, Amit Deep Kumar, Jaipur
  • SMV Green Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Naveen Krishna, Varanasi
  • The Shoe Men, Saral Budhijara, Delhi
  • UpSkill Management Services Pvt. Ltd, Mansi Agarwal, Mumbai
  • Zero Waste Incorporation, Amit Lingwal, Rishikesh