Social Entrepreneur of the Year Anshu Gupta: Creating a Parallel Economy with Reused Material

Event: Anshu Gupta: Creating a Parallel Economy with Reused Material
Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Location: Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

Anshu Gupta, GOONJ.orgAnshu Gupta, an Ashoka and Schwab Foundation Fellow shared his experiences creating a cultural change – from thoughtless dumping to conscious giving. He is the founder of, a social enterprise that has created social innovations to address critical gaps in the developing world. Making clothing a matter of concern in the development sector emerged as his life’s calling with GOONJ.

Considered one of the leading social enterprises in India, GOONJ, brings to light under-resourced areas in development work; whether it’s clothing for the poor, cloth sanitary pads for women, or school materials for children. The organization addresses the growing gap between prospering cities and rural villages by moving resources from the former, who discard it as waste, to the later, for whom it is precious.

Anshu Gupta, GOONJ.orgAnshu’s efforts have brought wider attention to the most ignored basic human need – clothing – and has led other organizations to replicate GOONJ’s initiatives and methods. Today people call it the genesis of a parallel economy where, instead of money, clothing works as currency received for work performed. Clothing, in Anshu’s words, “is not just a basic need but a symbol of dignity for all of us.”

View a video of his presentation:

See and download Anshu’s slides:

Accolades for Anshu Gupta and GOONJ:

A former journalist, Anshu left the corporate world to found GOONJ in 1998 and is now popularly known as the “Clothing Man”. Listed in Forbes as one of the India’s most powerful entrepreneurs, Anshu’s organization, GOONJ has won many prestigious awards including the Innovation for India award, Lien i3 challenge, CNN-IBN Real Hero’s Award, India NGO of the Year Award, Changemakers Innovation Awards and Development Market Place Award from the World Bank. GOONJ has also been chosen as a ‘Game Changing Innovation’ by NASA & US State dept. in a worldwide search & selection.  Anshu was named “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Schwab Foundation.  Learn more:



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