Start-ups with a social mission

Think “startups” and what pops into mind is probably “artificial intelligence”, “hyperlocal”, or “internet of things”. However, many social sector startups too have carved a niche for themselves and putting in effort to bring a change in the lives of vast populations socially across India. While social enterprises have always not been the poster boys of the Indian startup world, their impact has been touching and changing the lives of people like never before.

Here is a roundup of some such startups donning the Good Samaritan hat:

1: Svadha: Cleaning up sanitation woes

India's low score in the global sanitation index engendered the birth of a startup named Svadha. The startup aims to make people forego the old caste system belief about toilets by tackling water, sanitation, and hygiene woes across rural India. Founded in 2014 by Garima Sahai, a former lawyer and World Bank specialist, Svadha is supported under the Toilet Board Coalition’s first Toilet Board Accelerator program. It offers sustainable waste management solutions by empowering local entrepreneurs as one-stop shops to sell all sanitation solutions at a low cost.

2: Milaap: Social crowd funding with a heart

Peer-to-peer (P2P) funding model has often been used by business owners and artists to raise funds, but startup Milaap is now using P2P funds for social development. Milaap allows users to raise donations for any personal cause, upkeep of pets, various charities, and natural disasters. Recently, the startup managed to get more than Rs 5 lakh for the family of army martyr Gangadhar Dalui. Founded in 2008 by co-founders Mayukh Choudhury and Anoj Viswanathan, Milaap is today one of the most efficient startups impacting lives socially.

3: ShanMukha Innovations: A sparkling effort to check milk contamination

ShanMukha Innovations, incubated at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and selected amongst the top 20 startups in the Intel & DST-Innovate for Digital India Challenge 2.0, is ringing in social change by helping check milk contamination. The startup has developed a palm-sized box that uses its patented micro fluidic nanotechnology to check for contaminations in milk. It currently offers a melamine detection device, a nano-rice pencil box, and a malaria diagnostic device. The milk contamination tests costs less than Rs 2 for every test, making it the most cost effective testing device in the market today.

4: The Green Salute: Spotless car washing without water

Green Salute is changing social habits by offering a solution to save water by making car washing go waterless. Offering their unique waterless and affordable car cleaning solutions, Green Salute is helping save 160 billion litres of water a year on car washing.

5: Alma Nourisher: Taking baby steps in ensuring child nutrition

To address India's big child nutrition problems, startup Alma Nourisher offers guidance, analytics, and knowledge resources for its clients. At a nominal user fee of Rs 300 per child per year, the startup offers knowledge-, understanding-, and application-oriented activities for parents and children. Today, Alma Nourisher is one of the top startups in ensuring children's socio-emotional well-being.

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