The Lemelson Foundation has observed first hand a number of obstacles limiting the impact of India's scientists, engineers, and inventors. The resources these entrepreneurs need, such as financing and mentorship, are limited and often difficult to identify. As a result, many of the invention-based ventures The Lemelson Foundation supports struggle to identify sources of funding and business assistance to suit their unique needs. To understand the scale of these challenges and how to meaningfully address them, the Foundation, with assistance from Enclude, undertook a field study to examine India's "impact ecosystem," which is what the Foundation calls the broad network of businesses, funders, and intermediaries that enable social enterprise. The study hones in on the "invention ecosystem," the Foundation's term for a subset of the impact ecosystem that includes "invention-based entrepreneurs." Detailed observations and data collected from interviews with more than 60 investors, entrepreneurs and intermediaries are presented in this report, along with actionable solutions for addressing challenges. While the study focused on India, lessons are applicable to evolving ecosystems in other developing countries.
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