Prema Gopalan was presented the 8th Social Entrepreneur of the Year award (SEOY) 2018, by Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, in New Delhi. Prema Gopalan was awarded for her work in promoting women’s entrepreneurship and rural livelihood. She is the founder of Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP).
The SEOY awards, founded by Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, the sister organisation of the World Economic Forum and the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation of Jubilant Bhartia Group, promotes social entrepreneurs in India by recognising organisations that work to promote inclusive growth and contribute to bring change in the society through their entrepreneurial vision.
Prema Gopalan and her team have built vibrant eco-systems to enable 145,000 women to succeed in remote and ailing markets. The SSP model comprises four ventures: a federated network of 5000 SHGs; a resilience fund for women-led businesses; a rural school of entrepreneurship and leadership for women; and a market aggregator that provides warehousing, branding, marketing and distribution services to last-mile business women. In addition, it has catalyzed the government, investors, financial institutions and Indian and global corporations to partner directly with grassroots women business leaders.
The winner of SEOY India Award participates in the annual and regional meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The finalists are evaluated on key parameters of Innovation, Sustainability, Scalability, Reach and Direct Social Impact.