Impulse Social Enterprises History

Impulse Social Enterprises (ISE) is the heart of a collaborative ecosystem that provides sustainable livelihood and dignity for all, especially women and children, among tribes in North East India and other countries of South and South East Asia.

The Impulse Social Enterprises ecosystem creates a range of products and services that use local knowledge, traditional arts and crafts, natural resources, indigenous talent – layered with contemporary design, modern production technology, professional marketing and sales support, and of course, monetary funding.

The focus of all our efforts, is Trade, Not Aid.

For instance, we’re helping local tribes leverage their traditional skills and ethnic textiles and handmade products, and have created an artisan brand of apparel and home furnishings, whose sales empower the tribes with regular income.

We also use our knowledge of local people and insights on local issues, to provide research reports and consultancy services for CSR efforts and select commercial ventures that add value to the lives of people we work with. Income generated from these research and consultancy projects, is further invested back into the development initiatives, and helps sustain our own mentoring and financing efforts.

Why do we do all this?!

It all started back in 1987, when our founder Hasina Kharbhih who was still in school, started volunteering with, and helping out the less fortunate people in her hometown Shillong. One thing led to another and Hasina got drawn to the idea that she was going to spend her life helping those who’d been knocked to the ground by poverty, to actually stand up and earn a sustainable livelihood.

But it wasn’t to be an easy or simple path for Hasina. Because along the way, she and a group of likeminded individuals created the Impulse NGO Network, and jumped headlong into fighting a related issue that had caught her attention and was giving her sleepless nights – the issue of human trafficking, and the unsafe migration of women and children from Meghalaya.

Impulse Model (Meghalaya Model)

The Impulse NGO Network led by Hasina, ended up not just rescuing countless victims and fighting traffickers across the eight states of the north east, but also created awareness and support groups around the issue and its causes. This eventually led to the creation of the Impulse Model, what’s now the globally acclaimed Meghalaya Model – that works with the protocols of 6Ps: Partnership, Prevention, Protection, Policing, Press, Prosecution, and 6Rs: Reporting, Rescue, Rehabilitation, Restoration, Re-integration, Re-partnership.

Addressing the cause, along with the symptoms

Along the way, the Impulse Social Enterprises team also recognised and constantly pointed out that to eliminate human trafficking, it was imperative to eliminate the socio-economic problems that breed the evil. Which brings us to sources of sustainable livelihood and the purpose of Impulse Social Enterprises.

On Solid Ground

With the Impulse NGO Network well established, in the minds of the local populance as well as among powers that be, and encouraged by the full support of various state governments led by Meghalaya, state police forces, the judiciary, as well as recognition by the UN, Hasina and the team at Impulse NGO Network felt it was time to spend more time and effort on Impulse Social Enterpises (ISE).

While the Impulse NGO Network would continue to create awareness and fight the issue of human trafficking, ISE would focus on generating sustainable livelihoods, which would in turn help prevent unsafe migration and let locals live with dignity and financial security.

Profit, For Greater Good

Impulse Social Enterprises (ISE) was formally set up as a for-profit entity, with the sole purpose of developing an ecosystem for sustainable livelihoods. The aim is not to maximise shareholder profit, but reinvestment in the enterprise for partner enhancement and long term socio-economic impact.

Related Reading: Impulse NGO Network | ISE Business Model | Research | Consulting | Empower


  • Sun Oct 01 07:56:43 +0000 2017
    RT @HasinaKharbhih: Awarded Business Today 2017 Most Power Women Impact Business Freedom Warrior- via @BT_India
  • Thu Aug 31 10:03:45 +0000 2017
    Dreams we see, aren't ours alone; thousands of us weave them together. #Artisan #SocialEnterprises #MakeInIndia
  • Tue Jul 04 05:35:09 +0000 2017
    Impulse Social Enterprises and NE8x are proud to present Empower Northeast Social Start-Up Competition! If you...