BE!FUND…. Angel to small entrpreneurs.


There are lying many ideas which can solve a problem of a locale but are dying because of no investment.
It is a dream for young individuals from low income groups, who want to start a new business (it must be their idea) or scale up their existing businesses.
Their objective is to promote businesses that solve a pressing problem(social, environmental,etc) in their community or serve a core need through a service or a product. We provide funding upto Rs. 5,00,000.

Few Stories:
tiffinDhanlakshmi Tiffin Center 
Investment: August 2012

Where: Kumaraswamy, Bengaluru

Problem to be solved & business idea: Bengaluru is increasingly a hotspot for migrants—both for work and for study. Low-income people who have moved to the city often struggle to find affordable and clean food. For four years Dhanalakshmi worked as a cook in several homes. One day, as many young people has requested her for lunch, she started her own tiffin service. But demand was high and she never had enough money to expand to meet the growing number of people who wanted lunch. Dhanalakshmi heard about Be! on the radio and called Be.

Impact: With her Be! Investment, Dhanalakshmi has moved to a larger place for her restaurant, bought equipment – a mixer, grinder, hand sanitizer, water filter, instituted new hygiene practices – and she’s created jobs for two women and one man for deliveries. Dhanalakshmi’s South Indian favorites, like palav, poori, and rice-sambar, are prepared hygienically and are sold at affordable prices—30% less than small hotels. Prices just right for the over 1,800 students and migrant workers. For proof just stop by any day during breakfast and watch as Dhanlakshmi’s customers race through her most popular item idli (steamed rice cakes) and tomato chutney, which sell for Rs. 12 ($0.25). She is attracting new customers as she develops new recipes in Karnataka specialties, like the salty snacks chakli and nippattu. Dhanalakshmi also provides door-step tiffin delivery for 10 nearby college students, who study too much to come to her restaurant for their food. 10 younger school going students come running each day to pack themselves lunch on their way to school. Even local companies are asking Dhanalakshmi to bring tiffins in for their lunches each day. With so much care and attention, maintaining the hygiene, taste and low-prices, Dhanalakshmi’s mission is clear, she says: “I love cooking and bringing good food to people who could not afford it before.”

A Plate Of Rice 
Investment: February 2012

Where: Sirsi District

Problem to be solved & business idea: Archana lives in a village where most people depend on Areca nut farming for their livelihoods. Women usually work in farms as daily wage labourers but since Areca nut farming is seasonal, they are employed only for six months a year on a wage that is Rs. 50 less than men. Archana had the idea of employing these women at higher wages, creating year round employment and turning the Areca nut leaves into eco-friendly plates and bowls to replace plastic.

Impact: Archana is one woman who has hired an entire village: she has created 85 jobs for women. Her first order was to make 10,000 leaf plates for the opening of a local temple. Karnataka’s ban on plastic has also meant a huge surge in demand for her leaf plates and bowls. Archana’s business has also increased revenue for 50 local farmers through her purchases of Areca leaves, which used to go to waste. Archana’s plates aren’t just making a positive impact in the local environment and across Karnataka, but around the world too. Archana sells her plates to a local dealer with connections to importers in U.S.A. and France, where her biodegradable, compostable plates are just as popular, if not more so. During this past monsoon season, her storage shed collapsed soaking all of her stored dry Areca nut leaves. The rain may have stopped her production briefly but it did not stop her passion to continue her business. She is now back up and running from a rented space at her neighbour’s house while her new waterproof shed is under construction. Overcoming these obstacles and creating jobs for women, Archana has raised the village economy and become a local role model. Archana’s story was featured in Global Post.
colorBusiness of Color 
Where: Bengaluru, Karnataka

Problem to be solved & business idea: Nishaat’s family has always been in the tie & dye business, she got married and for eight years did not work as she raised her three children. Then, her children’s school fees became too expensive and Nishaat realised she could work, to keep them in school. For several years, Nishaat has run her own small-scale fabric, button, and zipper dyeing business. She uses her income to pay for her children’s school fees and healthcare. Nishaat’s business is so successful that demand for her beautifully hand dyed fabrics is 50% more than the current capacity of her small home production. With an investment from Be! Fund, she’s expanding to meet the ever-increasing demand by training and hiring more women employees, purchasing a bigger washing machine, and buying a sewing machine for small tailoring and embroidery jobs.

Impact: Nishaat already employs three women from her local Muslim community—women who otherwise would not be allowed to work outside their homes. As she scales up, Nishaat will employ six additional women from the local community. Like Nishaat, these women will use their income to support their children’s education and healthcare expenses, as well as become role models in their own homes and communities. Not only does Nishaat provide employment for women, she also enables them to carry on her family business of traditional hand dyeing—an art that is being forgotten far too often.

These are very few stories describing the Be!Fund… Let’s dig in deep that what they do? and How they do?

What They Do?
They use movies and radio to reach out to young people to ask them to call them with the local, sustainable, business ideas for change.
Be! Businesses must prove they can solve a local problem, generate income for the entrepreneur and create jobs.

Young people return the investment once they generate a profit, if they fail, they are not put into debt. It’s a risk capital fund based on trust and belief that the poorest young people are the best people to run their businesses. All returns are ‘paid forward’ to invest in more young entrepreneurs to change the way ahead.

How They Do?

First, a young person hears their radio, or watches their movies, and if they have a business idea that solves a problem they call Be.

Be then call them back and conduct an interview on the telephone to check they are 18-29, have a business idea that solves a problem and can’t get a bank loan for their idea. If this checks out, Be then invite them for the first interview face to face in their office (if they are not within a day’s travel of their offices their partner BASIX interviews young people).

Be tell them what additional information they will need to collect for their plan, give them a business plan format and set a date for the second interview. Young people then travel to meet Be again, this time, they will be interviewed by their volunteer partners from Deutsche Bank and UBS to other corporate volunteer employee programs.

The Be! Fund team writes business plans, creates cash flow statements and goes to visit the entrepreneur where she lives, to conduct a site level visit. A sector expert reviews the plan, and every three months, Be present over 10 business plans at multiple Investment Committee meetings, where the committee decides whether or not to invest.

If a young person’s plan passes the test, they receive up to Rs. 5,00,000/- to make it a reality, and Be! tell their stories every four months through photo stories, online updates and social impact analysis.

Bw! measure many social impact indicators in their hero stories – are young entrepreneurs happy because they have started a business, have they solved the problem, what does their community think, have children started going to school, are they a role model.

In the end, Be tell these new hero stories on national television and as graphic novels for children in Government schools, so young people grow up with the heroes we need for the time They’re in.

Address:Be! Fund
D12A Kailash colony, Ground floor, New Delhi, 110048, India
Phone: +91 11 4173 9945-7

so, if you know someone… who can get benefit out of it…inform them to be a star.


Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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