TiE Global Connect - Social Entrepreneurship
Sep 19, 2017
05:30 PM - 07:30 PM (Australia/Melbourne)
AGSE 301, Swinburne University of Technology

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With the increasing number of societal issues that we face today, social entrepreneurship has gained its relevance globally more than ever. What was once a difficult venture to pursue is becoming easier as access to resources increases and as more consumers hold corporations socially responsible. It has entered the mainstream market and continues to grow as more consumers care about where their purchases originate from. Some entrepreneurs predict that social entrepreneurship will become the norm within the next decade.

In collaboration with TiE Chennai, we will hear from three distinguished speakers who have dedicated their lives in bringing positive social impact through entrepreneurship. 


Philip Wollen, at 34 was Vice-President of Citibank.

The Financial Press named him in the “Top 40 Brightest and Best” executives in Australia.

During his travels, he witnessed cruelty so egregious he decided to alleviate suffering, and give away everything he owned – with warm hands – and die broke. He jokes “So far, we are right on budget!” 

Today, he is a “Venture Capitalist for Good Causes”, supporting some 500 mission-critical projects for children, animals and the environment in 40+ countries. 

He is the Patron and Ambassador for many international groups. He supports Children, Animals, and the Environment with schools, orphanages, animal protection, shelters, clinics, medicines, biogas plants, ambulances, food, disaster relief, scholarships, the arts, health, forests and oceans, undercover anti-poaching operations, Kindness Farms, Kindness House, Kindness Oceans, Kindness Kids, Kindness Streets, and Kindness Free Mobile Restaurants for the Homeless.

He also awards the annual Kindness Gold Medal and $25,000 Cash Prize. Previous recipients include Sir David Attenborough, Dr Professor T. Colin Campbell, Dr Ian Gawler OAM, Dr Jane Goodall DBE, Smt Maneka Gandhi MP, Captain Paul Watson, Dr Jill Robinson MBE, Dr Christine Townend, Captain Peter Hammarstedt, Mr Christopher DeRose and Sri Pradeep Kumar Nath.

He has delivered speeches in the Parliament in The Hague, the Knesset Parliament in Israel, the European Parliament, the World Parliament of Religions, and international congresses and has discussed ethics with Presidents, Prime Ministers, Nobel Laureates and religious leaders from all the major faiths.

His words have been read by millions around the world. His speeches and debates have gone viral on the internet with millions of viewers and have been independently translated into over 20 languages.

Philip likes to be invisible.

  • The National Australia Day Council wrote: “Essentially a private man, Philip seeks no personal publicity. But he is not afraid to step into the limelight for a just cause”.
  • Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers described him as “Reclusive”

He has been awarded:

  • The Order of Australia Medal in The Queen’s Birthday Honours.
  • Australian of the Year (Victoria).
  • Honorary Fellow of the Oxford Centre of Animal Ethics, UK.
  • Distinguished Alumni Award from The University of Adelaide.
  • Vegan of the Year International.
  • Cottonian of Eminence Award
  • Albert Schweitzer Award USA
  • The Peter Singer Award, Berlin

Philip Wollen will be sharing how he came to be a social entrepreneur, what types of projects he has started/supported and how he measures his ROI and social impact. He'll also give some tips to other aspiring social entrepreneurs.


Paul Basil is the Founder and CEO of Villgro Innovations Foundation and an Ashoka Fellow. Paul is also the co-founder of Villfarm Agri-Solutions Ltd, a private enterprise that makes available superior and sustainable agri-inputs. Over the last decade, Paul and Villgro has incubated over 100 innovative enterprises, creating over 4000 jobs, touching around 5 million lives in villages across India.

He has also contributed to building the social enterprise eco-system in India through Unconvention, India’s leading conference on innovation and social entrepreneurship across many cities in India, Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at IIT-Madras that focuses on research and education, Villgro fellowship that recruits global mid career professionals to experience social entrepreneurship and the India Chapter of Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs.

Paul was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002 for his outstanding social entrepreneurship in setting up Villgro. He has also been conferred the Samaj Seva Bhushan Award and the Star Entrepreneur Award.

Prior to setting up Villgro, Paul was part of the initial marketing team at Kerala Horticulture Development Programme (a collaborative programme of the Govt of Kerala and the European Union) in developing farmers’ markets. Over 100 farmers markets are now the hubs of commercial horticulture in Kerala. Initiated franchise retailing of fruits and vegetables.

Paul started his career with National Tree Growers Cooperative Federation (affiliate of the National Dairy Development Board) an organization involved in waste-land rehabilitation. An mechanical engineer by training and post-graduate in forestry management, Paul lives in Chennai, India with his family.

Paul will be talking about markers of a good social enterprise, where he will cover everything from how to start a social enterprise to the features essential in the product and business to make it successful. 


Sreejith Nedumpully is the Director of Upaya Social Ventures, India and Co-founder of Rope International, Chennai. He has over 14 years of experience in entrepreneurship, start-up incubation, SME finance, microfinance and livelihoods development.

He was awarded India’s second most promising entrepreneur of the year in 2009 by BusinessWorld and selected as one among the top 25 social entrepreneurs of the year in 2010 by Outlook Business for co-founding Rope International.

Sreejith will focus on understanding an impact investor's mind. This is especially for early stage ventures when they look for their first or second round of investors. The topic will deal with what typically an investor like to see and will point out some of the misconceptions in presenting to investors. He will also dedicate a slide or two on importance of making a financial model and what essentially a financial model should demonstrate. 

He will share his own entrepreneurial journey and some of the ventures Upaya has invested in and highlight what worked and what did not. Sreeijth will also talk about dealing with early successes and failures.

  1. ​AGSE 301,
    Swinburne University of Technology,
    Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia


Organiser : TiE Melbourne

TiE Melbourne

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TiE Global Connect - Social Entrepreneurship

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