World Bank Group Awards $2 Million to 20 Social Enterprises

3rd May 2013
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Grants awarded to 20 powerful development solutions in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand…


Twenty social enterprises were today awarded grants totaling $2 million by the India Development Marketplace (DM) funded by the World Bank Group (WBG). The grantees received $100,000 each to extend and scale up their innovative business models in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

Through its India Development Marketplace initiative, the World Bank Group (World Bank and the International Finance Corporation1) has identified scalable, replicable and financially sustainable projects for support. The call for proposals was launched in January and received nearly 200 proposals from organizations already operating in these three states, as well as from across the country. These organizations have developed business models to expand access to basic services such as livelihood and employment, education, women and child welfare, agriculture, energy, healthcare and financial services.

Here is the list:

Projects Targeting Jharkhand

  • SOUTH VIHAR WELFARE SOCIETY FOR TRIBALS – Combating human trafficking by empowering adolescent girls and improving their health status.
  • ALTERNATIVE FOR INDIA DEVELOPMENT – Delivery of banking/ financial inclusion products/ services to excluded families by combining Panchayat kiosk banking outlets and Self Help Group strategies.
  • WATER LIFE INDIA – Sustainable community water systems for safe drinking water.
  • EMBRACE INNOVATION – Deployment of Embrace infant warmers in low-resource government hospitals and measuring impact over time.
  • OPERATION ASHA – Implementation of eCompliance to supplement their treatment/ prevention of tuberculosis and turn the tap off on Multi-Drug Resistant TB in Jharkhand’s tribal regions.
  • DIMAGI SOCIAL INNOVATION – Working on using/ developing technology to increase the quality of services provided by community health workers.
  • IMERIT TECHNOLOGY SERVICES – Empowering marginalized women by training them in IT-based livelihoods.

Projects Targeting Madhya Pradesh

  • ACCESS DEVELOPMENT SERVICES – Help aggregate small and marginalized farmers to create Producer Companies/ Cooperatives.
  • AGASTYA INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION – Facilitating hands on education by developing Mobile Science Labs.
  • REAL MEDICINE FOUNDATION – Empowering women as a means to address malnutrition in India.
  • RANG DE – Enabling individuals to become rural entrepreneurs with cost effective micro-credit for enterprise development and education.
  • AGA KHAN RURAL SUPPORT PROGRAMME– To reduce the cost of cultivation at a large scale by using organic fertilizers.
  • UNDER THE MANGO TREE – Using beekeeping to supplement income of tribal farmers.

Projects Targeting Chhattisgarh

  • BILT TREE TECHNOLOGY – Changing lives of tribal farmers of Chhattisgarh through sustainable agro-forestry.
  • MICRO INSURANCE ACADEMY – Help facilitate self-reliant community based health insurance schemes of and for low income communities in remote regions of India.
  • VIGYAN ASHRAM – Empowering youth to build a human powered generator, solar lighting and laptop charging system.
  • VRUTTI – Aims at re-strategizing extension services through demand led market based farmer enterprises focusing in accelerated growth in agriculture.

Projects Targeting Multiple States

  • KHERWADI SOCIAL WELFARE ASSOCIATION – Looking to provide vocational training with inputs in life skills and work readiness to 1 million school-dropout youth.
  • SMV WHEELS – Provide a unique solution to cycle rickshaw drivers to become owners of their own vehicle in just over a year along with vocational support services.
  • ESAF – Provide clean energy solutions to lower income groups with the help of Micro-credit programs.

Of the 20 selected enterprises in 2013, over 40% demonstrate innovative business models to support and empower women living in low-income states. Other enterprises recognized include initiatives that improve access to affordable healthcare for families; that increase the earning potential of families, while engaging in livelihoods that are supportive of improving the local environment; and, organizations that leverage and apply technology in new ways to improve the delivery of key social, health and education services to underserved populations.

In addition, the DM provides an opportunity to understand what works – how and under what conditions – in an effort to surface and invest in models that best meet the needs of poor communities.

In 2011, the DM awarded grants to 14 high performing organizations in Rajasthan, Odisha and Bihar. Through the provision of capacity building services, the WBG has been able to assist in their organizational development. Today, these grassroots organizations are demonstrating strong results in assisting the poor.

Over the past four months, eminent industry experts reviewed the shortlisted proposals on parameters including social impact, sustainability, growth potential, and innovation.

In order to accelerate the impact of these organizations, the WBG will provide capacity building support services over the next 18 months. They will undergo business mentoring, and receive technical assistance in such areas as business development, financial management and strategic planning. Building on the partnership that it has established with Innovation Alchemy, a Bangalore-based firm focused on supporting social enterprises, the DM will also help these enterprises identify additional local partners to expand their reach and sustainability. In addition, the IFC continues to be an important strategic partner, bringing its keen focus on working with the private sector to support financially viable business models.

In addition to the direct impact that each of these organizations can have through the delivery of their services to marginalized society, the WBG will evaluate these service and delivery models – assessing the successes, and challenges, in reaching the traditionally underserved.

Past DM grantees include such organizations as Selco Solar, which provides sustainable and affordable energy to underserved households and livelihoods; Educate Girls – working in the Pali and Jalore districts to expand access to education for young girls; Bihar Development Trust – providing market access to rural women artisan groups; and Babajobs – using technology to provide better job opportunities to the informal job sector. One of the DM 2011 grantees, Operation ASHA – which works on TB eradication – has taken their program global and is now working in four countries.

More details on development marketplace

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