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Delivering impact in this pandemic year...

As I reflect on this year’s events and Villgro USA’s achievements, I’m left with a mixed bag of feelings. The first is that of gratitude towards our partners – towards Villgro regional hubs, ecosystem partners, and individual change makers who worked through their own uncertainties and our ambiguities to help us deliver value and impact. I also feel contentment for having endured considerable challenges in the journey to this moment of reflection, and I invite you all to take a moment to congratulate yourself on enduring another year of change and adaptation.

I'm happy to say that Villgro USA started its journey of expanding its impact footprint on a promising note – this year we expanded our network beyond our regional hub anchors to around 15 impact incubators globally. Our move to the virtual mode enabled us to share our incubation knowledge with our network of incubators at scale. We focused on delivering impact across the value chain – by channeling impact pipeline to donor-partners; knowledge and funding to incubators; direct funding and financing to social enterprises; and through the above, interventions to beneficiaries at the base-of-the-pyramid

This year we were able to deliver impact across different dimensions, such as

  • Breadth of impact over geographies: We reached incubators across South-East Asia, South Asia and Africa (East, Central and West) .

  • Width of impact over many sectors: We had experts from our partners helping our network members in sectors such as agri-business, health, digital-business, green-solutions, and clean-energy.

  • Depth of impact in providing various levels of resources to the impact incubators: We set up the Villgro Knowledge Hub this year, which has made it possible for incubators to access Villgro’s knowledge resources online; offered strategic guidance through our mentoring sessions; provided network connects through our forums and demo events as well as workflow tools such as VITALS.

  • Diversity of impact covering different inequities in this ecosystem: We trained and mentored incubators that focus on women entrepreneurs, rural innovators, historically under-represented regions, and non-English speaking populations.

We are humbled by the dedication of our network members and their accomplishments.

Next year, we will be focusing on tuning ourselves better to the needs of our customers – the impact incubators – and the specific needs of our regional hubs who are catalyzing our delivery of impact to the incubators in the region. Constant attentive engagement with our network members will be our focus, so that we can continue to deepen the value we deliver to them, while broadening our outreach to various regions.

I can’t help but feel excited for the road ahead, which, I’m sure will present us with even more avenues of learning about impact delivery from our members and I look forward to supporting them through funding, contextual knowledge, experience-based guidance, actionable advice, and talent flow.

Here’s to new ad-ventures in delivering impact in the upcoming year...!


Arun Venkatesan

Co-founder and CEO at Villgro USA

Arun is passionate about scaling impact by helping impact incubators succeed. He led Villgro India's health sector before his current role at Villgro USA

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