What and Why?

Social Entrepreneurship in the Indian Diaspora
Date: t.b.d., 2014


GOPIO’s initial mission is established to network the global Indian community and to monitor and address the interests and concerns of People of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). Since its inception, GOPIO has been creating awareness and promoting understanding of issues of concern — whether social, cultural, educational, economical, or political — of the NRI/PIO communities around the globe. GOPIO also provides an active and well recognized platform for dialogue and debate to the Indian Diaspora worldwide. To further advance that objective, GOPIO has been at the forefront to network the globally spread overseas Indian community by regularly organizing conferences in various parts of the world.

In 2003 GOPIO’s International Executive Council requested to restart the organisation in the Netherlands with the desire to integrate Indians from various backgrounds irrespective of their birthplace. Therefore, we established the first Chapter in Amsterdam in 2004 after targeting the audience and potential board members.

The Dutch Chapter has been organising various events based on themes which are internationally relevant and/ or important for the Indian and Dutch audience!

Social Entrepreneurship

For its 10th anniversary GOPIO has decided to highlight this auspicious occasion by combining it with the relevant theme of Social Entrepreneurship.

Social entrepreneurship is viewed as an alternative to traditional forms of international aid and social securities. It is a process of pursuing innovative solutions to social problems. Social entrepreneurs create capacity within these communities, over time, to tackle major social issues and offer new ideas for wide-scale change, taking challenging steps rather than leaving societal needs to governments and aid organizations. Examples are local (handicraft) shops, care farms for the mentally disabled, 50+ employment agencies, employement for artisans and companies for disadvantaged youth.

The concept of Social Entrepreneurship fits well within the increasing awareness and action for a more holistic approach and in search of answers and solutions on the present global challenges.

Currently, an estimated €600-650 million is available for social entrepreneurship. An important part of this (€250 million) is ‘seed capital’, mainly grants and donations. The remaining €350-400 million is available for the professional stage. It is estimated that the need is three times as high. Between 4,000 and 5,000 social enterprises are active in the Netherlands. The value of this market is approximately €1.4 billion and accounts for about 26,000 jobs. A comparison with other countries (including U.S., UK) shows that the market for social entrepreneurship in the Netherlands has the potential to grow to a value of €5.4 billion and 100,000 jobs (Source: McKinsey & Company).

In Europe overall, the Social business sector already represents about 6.000.000 jobs, contributing 10% to the total GDP. The EU is supporting Social Entrepreneurship by promoting ‘Access to finance’. According to the McKinsey study there is also a need for a matchmaking initiative. We will also use this as an input for a debate on our event.

For corporates, Social Entrepreneurship involvement means: Employee engagement, improving reputation & values, new business/market development, international partnerships and focus on investment opportunities in countries with a clear return on investment & society.

The Indian diaspora is punching above their weight when it comes to entrepreneurship and professional careers, which gives them the financial capacity to invest in their countries of birth. There are various Indian Entrepreneurs and individual ventures in the Netherlands and in India as well. A significant part of these investments is aiming for financial and social returns. We would like to highlight these initiatives at the conference.

Outline of the event: our event will cover the following topics:

Brief Recall of GOPIO

–          Provide an overview of the History of GOPIO in the Netherlands

–          Explain our mission and highlight the organisation and its results

Overview of Social Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands and esp. in the Indian Diaspora

–          Introduce relevant Social Entrepreneurship references

–          Provide their added value with examples

–     Outline the Shortlist of impressive contributions to the Diaspora.

–          Present an Award to the most exemplary entrepreneurial contributor

Closing of the Evening with a cultural event.

Time and Place of the Event: t.b.d.

Organising team

GOPIO has appointed a project team to prepare and manage this event: it goes without saying that sponsor representatives are very welcome to share suggestions. If there are any queries we will be very happy to elaborate on the event description and background to you.


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