New Trends in Social Entrepreneurship in India: UN Sustainable Development Goals & The Bombay Hemp Company – May 24, 2016

New Trends in Social Entrepreneurship in India: UN Sustainable Development Goals &
The Bombay Hemp Company, Ltd. (BOHECO) 



Panelists Ms. Radhika Shah, Advisor to the SDG Philanthropy Platform and Co-President of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs, and Mr. Sanvar Oberoi (photo), Co-Founder and Director of Finance & Digital Technology, Bombay Hemp Co., Ltd.(BOHECO), describe their organizations and activities and discuss the most recent developments in social entrepreneurship in India.

One of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012, was a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which were officially signed by the UN heads of state and high representatives on September 27, 2015.  The SDG Philanthropy Platform (sdgfunders.org), launched by the UN Development Program, Foundation Center, and the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, brings hundreds of foundations and philanthropists across many countries to create new partnerships to increase funding and create programs that will have greater, and more sustainable, impact on people’s lives.  Of course, the achievement of the SDGs itself must reflect sustainable processes, and so Ms. Shah will also discuss new platforms of social entrepreneurship in India, e.g. “Fourth Sector” for-benefit corporations.

One example of a company targeting an SDG is the Bombay Hemp Co., Ltd. (BOHECO), India’s first Industrial Hemp and Medicinal Cannabis company.  BOHECO aims to reform the agriculture industry and uplift socio-economic standards of local farmers in India.  They work with local industry and farmers to manufacture and innovate agro-products for pharmaceutical, construction, energy, paper, food, textile, lubricants, automobile, oil and cordage industries from the industrial hemp crop and now are working to use this model pan-India for poverty alleviation, empowerment, and rural development.

India has long been a recipient of philanthropic approaches and also for-profit companies that target “bottom of the pyramid” markets; this session will provide insights into the most recent dynamics and regulatory system refinements in India that may serve as a model across various developing economies.


Mr. Sanvar Oberoi is the Co-Founder and Director of Finance and Digital Technology at Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO), a hybrid social enterprise transforming agriculture in developing economies. BOHECO is South Asia’s pioneering hemp company and is working with governments, scientists, farmers, industry and consumers globally to build an end-to-end ecosystem and self-sustaining model which unleashes the supercrop’s tremendous socio-economic and environmental benefits at large scale. He leads The BOHECO Innovation Lab, the organisation’s moonshot & fundamental research wing focusing on exponential technologies in the materials research and nanotechnology domain. He has always been deeply affected by the growing number of farmer suicides and their apathetic state. He has made it his life’s mission to reinstate the status-quo of farmers, women artisans and producers in society and develop interventions to continually and sustainably improve their quality of life significantly.  Mr. Oberoi is a Ph.D. research scholar in Business Economics and has been awarded the INK, RajeevCircle and Ashoka Fellowship.

Ms. Radhika Shah is Co-President of the Stanford Technology Innovation Club Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs helping advance Entrepreneurship and Innovation – she is engaging the Stanford community tech and business leaders to apply innovation to solve world problems. Having grown up under the Gandhi Ashram influence in India, Ms. Shah has always been passionate about women’s rights, education, social justice and the environment. She is an Advisor to the Sustainable Development Goals Philanthropy Platform (SDGFunders.org – a collaboration between Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, UNDP, Foundation Center and initial funders include Ford, Conrad Hilton and MasterCard Foundation ). She co-founded the Silicon valley chapter for Ashoka.org – an sv community engaged with Ashoka Fellows around the world focused on girls education, social justice, tech for social good, preventing violence against girls, Brazilian rain forest conservation etc. and is also a Founding member of the silicon valley mentoring group RajeevCircle.org started in Stanford Prof Rajeev Motwani’s memory.  Ms. Shah is an entrepreneur, tech executive, angel investor passionate about civic engagement and building movements/communities towards transformational social change often leveraging technology.  Ms. Shah holds Stanford MSCS and a Berkeley MBA.


Stanford University | Skilling Auditorium
494 Lomita Mall • Stanford, CA
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 • 4:30-5:50PM

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