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Social Alpha

Our role in Saamuhika Shakti

At Social Alpha, we imagine an India where entrepreneurs and innovators have access to the resources they need to create deep and irreversible impact. We support entrepreneurs who are creating compelling solutions to fight poverty and address India’s intractable developmental challenges.
As a part of Saamuhika Shakti, we aim to nurture ventures that are not only redefining management and processing of multiple waste streams but also catalysing a profound shift in the narrative surrounding informal waste pickers. They enable informal waste pickers to lead secure and dignified lives and change their perceptions about their work and contribution in a positive manner.

What We Do

Social Alpha has a strong alignment with Saamuhika Shakti’s vision of enabling waste pickers to become key players in a global circular system. We believe that a convergence of innovation and social inclusion can bring about an irreversible impact in the waste management industry while building income stability and increased income for the informal waste pickers.
The program achieves this by selecting impactful start-ups through a multi-step evaluation process. The winning cohort is provided with market validation opportunities through on-ground pilots, technology and business advisory support, mentorship with experts from the waste management sector, market access support and access to seed capital. In parallel the waste pickers are provided with stable employment opportunities through long-term engagement with start-ups. They receive a range of training and skill building courses on the job, are provided with a safe and conducive work environment, flexible work hours, and opportunities for upward mobility within the operations of the start-ups.

How we do it

The program under Saamuhika Shakti was launched in November 2020. Over the course of three years, we selected two cohorts consisting of nine start-ups. The enterprises were selected based on their potential to positively impact the lives of the informal waste pickers and successfully deploy innovative waste management solutions on ground.
A brief description of the start-ups is as follows:

Activities and impact

Cohort 1

Number of informal waste pickers hired through the program 26
Weighted average increase in income of waste pickers 158%
Quantum of waste diverted from landfills (kgs) 3,902,000
Total GHG emissions avoided (kg CO2e) 23,85,072

Cohort 2

Number of informal waste pickers hired through the program 15
Weighted average increase in income of waste pickers 57%
Quantum of waste diverted from landfills (kgs) 37,696
Total GHG emissions avoided (kg CO2e) 25,454

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