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5th National Social Enterprise Idea Challenge:

Response to COVID - 19 crisis

Inviting innovative and impactful ideas from students across India providing solutions to the problems posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

The Azim Premji University Social Enterprise Cell invites Ideas from students to help institutions, communities and individuals to face and overcome many issues that are coming up with the COVID - 19 crisis. The COVID - 19 is far more than a health crisis; it has affected the economy and livelihood of people and has challenged our institutions, systems and the overall society. Vulnerable groups like marginal farmers and casual labourers engaged in agriculture and allied sectors, small scale fishers, artisans, petty traders, informal workers in both urban and rural places, forest dwellers are worst hit by the crisis. There is a need to seriously look for innovative and doable ideas to mitigate the crisis as well as offer solutions for a better future.

This year’s Idea Challenge initiative is specifically looking for -

  • Solutions that will empower communities (strengthening livelihood, public health, service delivery, local governance, education etc.)
  • Solutions that will support NGOs/Philanthropic organizations/Citizen groups in their pandemic response
  • Solutions that will equip our front-line workers--- ASHA, ANM, ICDS, Nurse, NGO frontline workers, etc;
  • Solutions that will strengthen the monitoring systems at any scale
  • Solutions that will enhance specific measures by Hospitals, municipalities, Gram Panchayats, Block Panchayats, etc.

Who can participate:
Students enrolled in class 11 and 12, in colleges and Universities, Research institutions.

Submission criteria:
  • Submissions must be from a team consisting of more than 1 student; they can be from the same institution or students from different institutions can collaborate
  • Preferences will be given to submissions that try to provide details of a preliminary engagement with the target group – this can be either a basic survey to understand the status or a small pilot of an intervention done by the team members
  • The idea must be sensitive to the ecological concerns as well as to equity and social justice
  • Ideas will be judged on – the feasibility and sustainability of the proposed solution, resource mobilization, innovativeness, community involvement, social justice and minimal impact on the environment


Award and recognition
  • The shortlisted 15 teams will be invited to present their ideas in front of a panel of Jury members. This will be a national seminar with few leading social sector organizations and donors for idea pitch and implementation.
  • The best 3 entries will receive prize money worth Rs. 75,000, 50,000, and 25,000 respectively
  • Certificate of participation from Azim Premji University to all shortlisted teams
Process and timeline
  • Registration process starts on 15th July 2020
  • All registered teams will receive one submission form asking team details, details of the target problem, specifics about preliminary survey/ pilot, details of the idea, resource mobilization, future plan
  • The final deadline for entries – 2 nd October 2020
  • The result announcement and seminar/ webinar by the end of the year

We have closed receiving entries for Idea Challenge 2020.





The Azim Premji University Social Enterprise cell organises the “National level Social enterprise Idea challenge” among college and University students across India. The Cell organizes the Idea Challenge every year with a purpose to provide students an opportunity to explore social entrepreneurship and share their innovative ideas in a rigorous and competitive manner. This is also a great networking platform for young minds to meet each other, exchange thoughts and get noticed by some of the early stage mentors and investors. The winning teams are awarded with certificates and prize money.

The 4 th edition of the Idea Challenge will be announced in July 2019 – please visit this page for more details soon

First National level Social Enterprise idea challenge’16

Winning Teams

Name Of The Institution Name Of The Team members Rank Ideas
KJ Somaya Institute of Management Studies and Reserach, Mumbai Shashanka Sekhar FIRST A social healthcare based venture to bring about eco- friendly and commercially viable solutions for biomedical waste disposal, by transforming the unorganized field into an organized one.
NIT, Nagpur Anil Kumar Reddy SECOND Conceived a crowd-sourcing platform, named “Donatekart”, for social organizations where the later can run campaigns listing down the products that they are in need of, and donors can donate these products online
IRMA Divyang Panchal THIRD Was to build a social enterprise which makes handmade marriage invitation cards for upper middle class and upper class in urban areas
Montfort College Nitish J Bhagath THIRD Rise – a platform to bridge the gap in the mental health sector by providing public access

Second National level Social Enterprise idea challenge’17

Winning Teams

Name Of The Institution Name Of The Team members Rank Ideas
Indian Institution of Technology, Madras Akhilesh D S N FIRST "Modular Housing" An idea of foldable housing to address the need of Decent Temporary Shelter to rehabilitate the disaster affected victims.
Kumaraguru College Of Technology Ranjith kumar.P SECOND “Reinforced Acoustic Tiles” Utilization of Agro Waste Housing material using straw
Montfort College Nitish J Bhagath THIRD Portable water Filter Device
Angadi Institute Of Technology And Management Niranjan Karagi THIRD Rise – a platform to bridge the gap in the mental health sector by providing public access

Third National level Social Enterprise idea challenge’18

Winning Teams

Name Of The Institution Name Of The Team members Rank Ideas
M.I.T. Group of Institutes, Ujjain Jitendra Singh Choudhary FIRST Idea named " Shuddham". The Idea is proposing to address the crucial issue of water crisis in the world by developing a device which can filter waste water and make it re-usable for secondary purposes like washing and cleaning.
Kongu Engineering College Erode 1)V.Gowtham
2)N.Balaji
SECOND The idea is to recycle and reuse construction waste obtained from demolition of old concrete structures to produce sustainable building materials for the construction industry.
IIT Delhi Sannat Mengi THIRD “Project Titli” which sought to transform the way of imparting awareness on Menstruation with a fun – filled and engaging set of games.
Azim Premji University 1)Sanjeet Prakash Rao
2) Brihas Tiwari
THIRD “Less is Good: a sustainable alternative to paper and plastic cutlery” is to develop a sustainable business approach to reduce the usage of plastic, paper and styrofoam cutlery by providing clean steel cutlery to food vendors.

The winning social impact ideas in our 4th National Social Enterprise Idea Challenge 2019

Open Category

Christ College & PES University, Bangalore (1st Prize) The Farm Theory is an agri-tech start-up that aims to create a sustainable food system from farm to fork to eliminate food waste and end hunger.
Tata Institute of Social Science, Tuljapur (1st Runners -up) The idea is to provide sustainable educational means in rural areas along with the traditional education with the help of a STEM educational platform.
Institute of Rural Management, Anand (2nd Prize) A social enterprise which will provide affordable warehousing services for onion cultivators along with market leads for the stored produce.


Special Category prize "Waste, Water and Energy"

Institute of Engineering &Management, Kolkata The idea is to use concentrated solar power and geothermal Heat Sink for an efficient, quick, and economical conversion of waste water to fresh water.

Click here to download the brochure of Social Enterprise Idea Challenge 2019







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