The Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), conceived and nurtured by the late Dr Verghese Kurien, will launch an incubator for social enterprises via the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Enterprises (CSEE), in August.

The incubator will work around three verticals — agriculture and small agri-business, sustainable habitats and sanitation, and servicing rural India covering rural tourism, clean energy, education and ICT.

The launch will be marked by a national conference to be held on August 22 and 23, at Anand.

The Union Department of Science and Technology, under its Innovation-Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development (i-STED) programme had recently approved a five-year grant of ₹2.89 crore to IRMA for it to identify and support social entrepreneurs and enterprises focused on rural and social innovations, an IRMA spokesman said on Wednesday.

Rural entrepreneurship The incubator will help students think and act for rural entrepreneurship. It will initially focus on agriculture and allied enterprises as part of the Institute’s mission and leadership in promoting sustainable, ecologically-friendly and equitable socio-economic development of rural people through professional management. It will leverage IRMA’s alumni network comprising leaders in rural, collective, and social enterprises.

The CSEE will extend its experience on entrepreneurship development through its ongoing and completed research projects and initiatives of the Centre. The CSEE incubator currently has three incubates, its recent alumni who have started their own ventures.

The incubator will work with IRMA’s Social Entrepreneurship Cell, an active student body, and enable students to pursue entrepreneurship by enabling them to be part of, and learn from, a peer network and mentoring ecosystem of both early-stage start-ups and mature social enterprises engaged with the Centre.

The CSEE is currently associated with 10 social enterprises that have proof of concept and are ready to scale.