June 14, 2024

Why the ACT Fellowship Program is a great launchpad for early to mid-career professionals who are looking to pivot into the impact space

A chemical engineer from IIT Roorkee and an IIM Ahmedabad alumni, Sailee Rane had worked with organisations like Razorpay and McKinsey before deciding to pivot her career towards climate action. Over the past 9 months, as an ACT For Environment Fellow, she has worked closely with the vertical on finding and funding cutting edge climate-tech innovations, managing collaborative ecosystem initiatives and contributing towards the evolution of our investment thesis strategy. Armed with application-led learning, she now hopes to build her own startup as a clima-preneur.

Sailee is just one of many examples of individuals who’ve come into ACT as Fellows but walked out with a solid understanding of the social entrepreneurial ecosystem and how venture philanthropy plays a catalytic role in propelling social impact at scale. 

A nine-month apprenticeship program, the ACT Fellowship Program is an opportunity for young professionals to learn what it means to apply venture capital principles to philanthropy. Positioned at the cusp of the startup and venture capital ecosystems, it offers an experience-led insight into the nuances of impact investing and brings you face to face with inspiring social entrepreneurs who are solving some of India’s toughest social issues. The full-time intensive program is designed to build your understanding of what it takes to leverage collective action to create meaningful change and enables you to hone your own leadership skills and entrepreneurial abilities as a future change-maker for Bharat.

Each of the Fellows from the previous two cohorts have found tangible value in being at the centre of India’s social innovation landscape – across the realms of education, climate action, public healthcare and gender equity. Hailing from diverse backgrounds like law, political consulting, architecture and more, they’ve leveraged their Fellowship experience and learnings to successfully pivot their professional journeys into new and exciting arenas. 

A Masters in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics, Lakshay is the co-founder of AeSha Foundation – a non-profit organisation that works on public participation, civic engagement and livelihood opportunities for marginalised women. I gained great exposure to diverse stakeholders and truly inspiring individuals, offering invaluable lessons in leadership and ecosystem building in public healthcare,” he reflects on his journey as a 2023-24 ACT For Health Fellow. Similarly Ananya Yerra from 2022-23 cohort is now pursuing a career in impact investing while Shazib Siddique and Gulam Sarwar joined ACT as full-time fund managers on the team post their Fellowship.

Each year, we select 5-6 highly mission-driven candidates for the Fellowship Program – ambitious go-getters who can think on their feet, are hungry to learn, enjoy taking on challenges and can work both independently and as part of a team. Sharp thinkers with a bias for action who deeply believe that innovation can accelerate social impact and are abreast of the latest technology trends in the impact space. But most importantly, aspiring change-makers who are genuinely interested in the social sector and want to catalyse meaningful change.

The minimum eligibility criteria to apply for the Fellowship is to be a resident Indian citizen, a graduate of any discipline from an accredited university in or outside India, have at least 2 years of full time work experience and based in or willing to relocate to either Bombay, Delhi or Bangalore for the duration of the program. While we welcome applications from across all professional backgrounds, prior experience as a founder or in strategy consulting / investment banking / impact investing / social sector will be a strong advantage.

The ACT Fellowship is not just a program; it’s a journey that empowers young professionals to become co-founders of social change. By offering a blend of practical experience, sectoral specialisation and a best-in-class mentor network, the Fellowship has proven to be the transformative experience that could meaningfully change the trajectory of your career.

Applications for the 2024-25 cohort of the ACT Fellowship are now open! Click here to apply before the deadline of 13th August, 2024.

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