Social Impact, Rural Livelihood & Sustainability

Advantage Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu, which is rich in culture and heritage, is also a leader in promoting innovation and social reforms. Startups seeking to have a significant influence on society can thrive in this State. Here, entrepreneurs can get useful information on the market potential, the social impact sector they wish to work, accessible government funding and tools to support growth.

Tamil Nadu is a pioneer in social reforms and takes pride in being a leader in fostering social justice. Development in the State is equitable and all government schemes are aimed at reaching the unreached. Chennai. Coimbatore, Salem, Vellore and Tiruchi are top-ranking cities in the Ease of Living Index 2023.

The State is committed to helping entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in the world. It is renowned for its robust ecosystem, competent workforce and innovative business environment, which make it a prime location for social entrepreneurs.


Sector Incharge

Venkadeswari N



Social impact can be defined as the effect created on people by an action/inaction, an activity, project, programme or policy. A Social Impact Startup is a Startup that is committed to solving cultural, environmental and/or social issues. Rather than being driven by profit, a Social Impact Startup is committed to making the world a better place to live. In a recent report, the World Economic Forum said that the most important job of a business should be to improve society. “More people care about businesses that do good for society.” For entrepreneurs, running an organisation that creates good social impact is not just an essential ethical approach but also a commercial competitive advantage. India’s Startup community, in tune with a global awareness to create sustainable business models, is leveraging technology to create smart and sustainable solutions to enhance social impact. These enterprises are offering unique solutions across sectors, like agriculture, clean energy and healthcare. The Social Impact Startups not only attempt to bridge gaps in delivery but also provide unique solutions to traditional problems.

Rural livelihood is defined as ‘the process by which “households construct a diverse portfolio of activities and social support capabilities for survival and in order to improve their standard of living.” It involves mostly agriculture and village industries. There is a need to create more livelihood opportunities through entrepreneurship not only to alleviate poverty but also to ensure inclusivity, equity and sustainability. Rural livelihood thrives more on local employment. Rural Livelihood Startups have good scope to transform agriculture as a technology-driven vocation and make rural employment more attractive for urban youth.

Sustainability means fulfilling the needs of the current generation without compromising the needs of future generations, while ensuring a balance among economic growth, environmental care and social well-being. Sustainability involves economic sustainability, environmental sustainability and social sustainability. Startups in sustainability make a difference in the way people lead their lives and also how they co-exist with the environment by aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals.The variety of Startups in sustainability include Green Technology Startups, Sustainable Agriculture Startups, Clean Energy Startups, Sustainable Fashion Startups and Sustainable Travel Startups. (See also micro sites on Automotive, EV; Circular Economy; Blue Economy; Climate Tech and Clean Energy).

The population of Tamil Nadu is diverse, with a range of demands and difficulties. Due to this diversity, Social Impact Startups have good potential to address pressing problems in various areas, including healthcare, education, agriculture, clean energy and others. The market potential in Tamil Nadu is enormous and encouraging due to a rising awareness of social issues and a need for sustainable solutions.

The State’s goal is to create a future in which Social Impact Startups significantly impact the way people lead their lives. The government is committed to creating a welcoming ecosystem that encourages creativity, teamwork and scalability. Initiatives to improve access to capital, reduce regulatory procedures and advance entrepreneurship education are all part of Tamil Nadu’s future road map.


Union Government

The Union Government has rolled out many initiatives for supporting innovation-driven Startups, especially those in the Social Impact sector. They include the Rs 100 billion Fund of Funds, easing of regulations, simplifying the exit process, setting up of innovation and tinkering labs and encouraging private incubators with funding. The other incentives and schemes include Scheme for Funding High Risk-High Reward Research, Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Startups and MSMEs (PRISM), NewGen Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre, Biotechnology Ignition Grant, Small Business Innovation Research Initiative, Technology Development Programme, Agro Processing Cluster Scheme, Raw Material Assistance Scheme, A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industries and Entrepreneurship (ASPIRE), Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development Scheme for Women, Venture Capital Assistance Scheme and., Technology Development Fund.

State Government

The Government of Tamil Nadu provides a variety of incentives and programmes to support companies with a social impact. These programmes provide grants, coaching, tax breaks and access to cutting-edge facilities with a view to increasing the contribution of Startups to the State’s economy and social capital. StartupTN offers a special package of assistance for Rural Impact Startups. The package includes financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh under TANSEED, mentorship and incubation facilities.


Success in the social impact sector requires the right resources and support. Tamil Nadu’s ecosystem offers a wide array of resources, including incubators and accelerators. There are also specialised programmes that provide mentorship, funding and access to networks. The State is known for multiple funding opportunities in the form of grants, venture capital and loans that are tailored to Startups’ needs.

Research and Development Centres: Entrepreneurs can collaborate with research institutions to utilise their R and D facilities for developing cutting-edge solutions.

Skilled Workforce: The State has a pool of talented professionals who are passionate about making a difference.
Networking Events: There are abundant opportunities to engage with like-minded individuals, investors and experts through conferences, seminars and workshops.

Government Liaison: There are dedicated support teams to help the entrepreneur to navigate regulatory procedures and access incentives.

Tamil Nadu welcomes Social Impact Startups with open arms, encouraging them to lead the way in creating a sustainable and inclusive future for all. This will be a transformative journey for the entrepreneurs to make a lasting difference in the lives of citizens.