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  • Writer's pictureInsights Wix Admin

Why are we launching ‘Office Hours’?

In our quest to reach out and support more and more entrepreneurs in the tech for inclusion space, we are launching a new initiative under the BII umbrella, the Office Hours. Office Hours are pre-scheduled, 45–60 minutes long mentoring sessions with experts from within our team and our extended networks.

We have had many conversations — formal and informal, online and offline, generic and specific — with entrepreneurs through our ecosystem mapping activities, research workshops, sprints, financial inclusion lab and deal sourcing for the seed fund. There is a growing realisation that while we will be limited in the number of people we can deeply engage with and support through our programs, there is a pressing need for one-on-one conversations where entrepreneurs can get advice on specific aspects of their business, the regulatory environment, technology and other issues in a safe, non-judgemental, friendly environment.

Building a business is hard, harder still to build a business that serves the poor. There are no ready-made templates. There is limited understanding of low-income consumers, they are tougher to reach, slower to adopt digital platforms and have limited digital footprints. While new technology platforms are being built that potentially make the cost economics of serving this segment work, deploying these emergent platforms is often technically challenging. The complex regulatory landscape further exacerbates the problem.

The Office Hours initiative is our attempt to democratize access to knowledge, quality mentoring and networks, thereby leveling the playing field for talented inclusion-focused entrepreneurs from everywhere. Based on our interactions, we will create a continually upgraded repository of learnings, insights and FAQs that can benefit the entire ecosystem. We strongly believe in the power of community and conversations, and hope that some of our mentees of today can become mentors of tomorrow!

Last month, we ran a limited pilot of the Office Hours with Sanjay Jain, our Chief Innovation Officer and former Chief Product Officer at UIDAI, and a few startups to test and refine the model. We are now ready for the official launch. You can sign up here.

We look forward to hearing from you!


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