Union Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu presents the Social Entrepreneur of the Year India 2017 Award


Urvashi Sahni of Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF) is Social Entrepreneur of the Year India 2017 Award Winner
New Delhi, October 5, 2017: The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a sister organization of the World Economic Forum, in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation announced Urvashi Sahni of Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF) as the winner of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year India 2017 Award. The Award was conferred by Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India in the presence of over 300 participants at a high-profile gathering in New Delhi. The award ceremony also served as the welcome dinner of the India Economic Summit organized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Applauding the work of all the three finalists of this year SEOY award, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India said “Social Entrepreneurs deal with different aspects and challenges that exists in the society. They are bringing technology with their commitment and passion to transform lives of many people. I firmly believe that changing lives is far more important than anything else and hence to have a happier society we need many more social entrepreneurs like we have seen today.”
Social entrepreneurs are the change agents who are addressing the needs of underserved communities in both scalable and sustainable ways. The winner of SEOY India 2017 Award was able to impress the eminent jury by scoring high on the parameters of Innovation, sustainability, Direct Social Impact, Reach & Scope and Replicability. The winner qualified as a candidate who is actively bringing social change by transforming traditional practice and is apt to be a role model for future social entrepreneurs and the general public.
“This year’s three finalists are all working to address different aspects of the education ecosystem – mid-day meals to help students focus in school, increasing girls’ enrolment in marginalized areas, and helping to change attitudes and culture around gender roles through schools. Our three finalists are operating at significant scale across India, pioneering advances in technology, community engagement, and learning methodology to build a strong educational foundation that will enable India’s future as a prosperous, innovative, and inclusive society”, said Hilde Schwab, Chairperson & Co-founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
Congratulating the winner, Shyam S Bhartia, Chairman & Founder and Hari S Bhartia, Co-Chairman & Founder, Jubilant Bhartia Group and Founder Directors of Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, said, “We feel inspired by the passion of all the three finalists. High technology can brighten potential of India's social entrepreneurs and this has been proved by this year’s finalists by their use of modern technology in implementing change. The last eight years of organising the SEOY India Award has been an insightful and enriching experience for us. Even for the winners, the SEOY India platform has offered several opportunities to network, identify new avenues for funding and enhancement in their learning curve. We are glad to see that the platform of SEOY India Award has evolved to become one of the most distinguished honor for social entrepreneurs in our country.”
Urvashi Sahni of Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF) was awarded for her exceptional contribution in the field of education that includes, empowers and builds leaders among India’s most disadvantaged girls. Aided by technology, policy push and partnerships with the state governments of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, SHEF has scaled its model of education to 900 government schools, trained 5000 government teachers and impacted 1,50,000 girls directly and 2,70,000 girls indirectly in the hotbeds of poverty and gender discrimination.
Schwab Foundation and Jubilant Bhartia Foundation warmly congratulate the finalists and for their outstanding contributions. This year’s SEOY India Award winner, Urvashi Sahni of Study Hall Educational Foundation (SHEF) will be invited to join the Schwab Foundation’s global community of over 300 social innovators.
Of over 100 applicants received for this year’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year selection process for India, three finalists emerged after several stages of rigorous assessment. An independent panel of distinguished jury selected the winner. This year’s jury members included Ms Hilde Schwab, Chairperson & Co founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship; Ms Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson & Editorial Director, HT Media Ltd; Ms Sudha Pillai, Board Member, Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd & Former Member Secretary, Planning Commission, Government of India; Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, Government of India; Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman, Hero Enterprise; Mr Paul Basil, Founder & CEO, Villgro Innovation Foundation; Mr Neichute Doulo, Founder, Entrepreneur Associates & Winner SEOY 2016 and Ms Neelam Chhiber, Founder, Industree Crafts Foundation & Winner SEOY 2011.
The SEOY Awards have been in existence in India for 13 years now. 2017 celebrates eighth year of partnership between the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation.

Thursday, October 5, 2017