The Center for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CSIE) at IIT-Madras was founded in August 2010 with a focus on teaching and research related to social enterprise in India. It aims to bring together the innovation and entrepreneurship aspects of IITM by creating knowledge and understanding that will be of relevance to the problems that the poor in India face.

Why Social Entrepreneurship at IIT Madras?

IIT Madras has been involved in the field of social entrepreneurship since 2002, when it partnered with the Lemelson Foundation’s RAMP program for social entrepreneur, as well as Villgro Innovations Foundation, a Chennai-based social business incubator.



Mission of CSIE

To build an environment that will facilitate the creation of social enterprise knowledge through research and empower students to apply their entrepreneurship abilities to develop solutions for greater social impact through academia.

  • Focal Areas
    • Education & Training

    • Minor in Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship: provide firm, sustainable structure; strengthen & replicate course
    • Develop specialization on "Social Entrepreneurship" in MA program on "Development Studies"
    • Recruit PG students to pursue M.S. & Ph.D. in "Social Entrepreneurship"
    • Coordinate with Center For Innovation (Cf) to provide lab training to students in I & SE
    • Provide field training to students in I & SE
      • Fellowships, summer internships
    • Fundamental (Academic) Research

    • Support faculty "sabbaticals" to engage full-time in SE research
    • Faculty & student-initiated research work in social entrepreneurship
      • IITM funded
    • Organize national/ intl conferences & workshops in SE
    • Develop a database of socially-relevant technologies developed by IITM, other IITs, other academic institutions
    • Establish links with other academic initiatives in SE
    • Applied (sponsored) Research/ Consultancy

    • Solicit funding from external agencies to support research related to SE
      • Governmental
      • Corporate
      • Foundations such as NIF, Rockefeller, Lemelson, etc.
    • Provide technical consulting (design, development, validation, etc.) support to social entrepreneurs, as part of incubation process
  • Governance Structure
    • Principal Project Coordinator: IITM faculty
    • Project Sponsor: Villgro, etc.
    • Advisory Council: (to meet quarterly)
      • Director, IITM
      • Dean, IC & SR
      • Project Coordinator
      • Project Sponsor(s)
    • Steering Committee: (to meet monthly)
      • Active faculty
      • CEO, Research Park
      • Project Coordinator
      • Project Sponsor(s)
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