By Lata Jha:
Initiative and enterprise know no barriers. And neither does the brilliance to recognise and acknowledge such initiative. This couldn’t hold truer for anyone than the twenty Indian social enterprises that received grants by the India Development Marketplace (DM) of the World Bank Group last month. These grantees belonging to the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand received $100,000 to extend and develop the scale of their enterprises and employ more innovative methods of working. These organisations were awarded mainly for their ability to expand access to basic services like livelihood, employment, women and child care, health and financial services.
Of the 20 enterprises selected for this honour, about 40% employ innovative business models to empower females in low income states. Several others are making efforts to improve health care, social and education services to underprivileged sections. Yet others aim to provide employment opportunities in different regions while helping to improve the local environment.
This felicitation is part of the WBG’s efforts to reach out to disenfranchised communities, end poverty and spread prosperity. In order to accelerate the impact of these organisations, WBG will provide them further training and support services over the next 18 months. They will be required to undergo business mentoring, and receive technical assistance in areas such as business development, financial management and strategy planning. The WBG will also closely evaluate their success, impacts and challenges, in reaching out to the marginalized.
In the past, DM has granted funds to organization such as Selco Solar, which provides sustainable and affordable energy to obscure households and livelihoods; Educate Girls, which is working in the Pali and Jalore districts towards expanding access to education for young girls; Bihar Development Trust, which is providing market access to rural women artisan groups; and Babajobs that is using technology to provide better job opportunities in the informal job sector. In fact, one of the DM 2011 grantees, Operation ASHA, which works towards TB eradication, has taken their program to newer heights and is now working in four countries of the world.