Menterra Social Impact Fund has made its first investment in Leap Skills Academy, a Delhi-based skill development start-up business. Leap Skills Academy, founded by Megha Aggarwal and Ankit Durga in 2013, is attempting to solve the problem of demand and supply of skilled workforce by understanding the requirements of employers in a region, developing content and training programmes to impart both general and sector-specific skills to suit both employers’ needs and students’ career aspirations.
It is co-investing in the venture with Artha Venture Challenge, a national competition run by impact investment portal Artha Platform to discover early stage social enterprises.
“Unutilised capacity is a huge challenge for private and public sector skill training providers. Placement rates are low in leading colleges and once placed, workforce attrition in India is as high as 25%,” said Megha Aggarwal. The startup started off with a pilot batch of 60 students and currently operates more than 10 institutes across three districts of Haryana. It has worked with more than 1,000 students, offering a variety of courses.
The impact fund was founded by the senior management team at social business incubator Villgro, which includes Paul Basil,founder at Villgro, PR Ganapathy and Mukesh Sharma was launched in January. It is targeting a total corpus of Rs 40 crore by March next year. Focused on skilling, healthcare, energy, agriculture and education startups, the fund is slated to invest Rs 1-3 crore in each startup and also participate in follow-on rounds. It plans to use the equity investment to further refine its business model, expand its team and grow operations to five more districts.
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