Nearly 200 proposals for proven business models received from social entrepreneurs
INDIACSR News Network
NEW DELHI: Launched in late January, the World Bank Group’s competitive grant-based program, 2013 India Development Marketplace generated a very enthusiastic response from the social enterprise community. By the end of February, the World Bank team had received almost 200 proposals from the three states – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. These proposals include proven business models and solutions to address the most pressing social and economic problems impacting these low income states.
The 2013 India Development Marketplace aims at identifying, and supporting organizations whose development solutions are scalable, replicable and financially self-sustainable. The underlying objective of supporting these projects is to increase their existing impact over a larger area thus helping create access to essential public goods and vital services for the poor and underserved communities. The state governments of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand have been very active in identifying and addressing women-centric issues such as female infanticide, girl child education and addressing challenges of sustained and constructive livelihood opportunities for the poor.
Commenting on the overall quality of the proposals and ideas received, Drew von Glahn, Team Leader of the Development Marketplace program hosted by the World Bank Institute said, “The proposals bear testimony to the fact that these states are brimming with innovative development ideas and talent.”
Nearly 40 percent of the proposals address livelihood and employment issues, 13 percent address solutions that focus on education and the balance between agriculture, energy, healthcare and financial services.
“A key goal of our program is to support not only the specific organizations, but also to help develop a robust local social enterprise sector. These proposals indicate a strong base from which to address inclusive social and economic advancement,”added von Glahn.
The proposals received will now be evaluated. Around 35 proposals will be shortlisted as final contenders for the USD 1 million grant ranging anywhere between USD 50,000 to USD1,00,000. In addition, the winning organizations will receive mentoring and capacity building support over a period of 15 months. Building upon the partnership it has established with Innovation Alchemy, a Bangalore based firm focused on supporting social enterprises, the World Bank will also identify additional local partners who will guide the winners in areas of business planning, financial management and organizational development.
In the last decade, World Bank Development Marketplace has recognized and supported a number of breakthrough social enterprises working in India, including organizations such as Goonj – waste resource management, Drishtee – Rural Kiosks for access to public services and Gram Vikas – Biogas electricity for tribal communities in Odisha. In 2011, the Development Marketplace team in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), awarded grants to fourteen high performing organizations in Rajasthan, Odisha and Bihar. Today these grassroots organizations are demonstrating strong results in assisting the poor. IFC continues to be a strategic partner, bringing its keen focus on working with the private sector to develop viable business models.
The Development Marketplace
The DM is a competitive grants program seeking to support scalable, replicable social enterprise projects with the potential for significantly improving lives and access to public goods and services for underserved poor communities. Projects that demonstrate appreciable impact in these areas are provided financial assistance, backed by strong need-based technical assistance in order that they may scale and/or replicate their efforts. The DM has since its inception in 1998, awarded more than $60 million in grants to more than 1200 innovative projects identified through country, regional and global competitions.