Intellecap’s Indian Development Gateway partners with Srijan

In what appears to be a natural marriage, Intellecap (featured on TC-I numerous times here) has created a partnership between two of its programs. Intellecap, whose goal is to leverage innovative business solutions for low-income markets, held last week the third annual Srijan (Sanskrit for creativity) Business Plan Competition. Recognizing that many of these ventures will need funding to scale, Intellecap has deftly provided the resources of its Indian Development Gateway (IDG) — a portal for the “dissemination of an entrepreneur’s business plan, which the IDG rates based on the plan’s strengths and weaknesses. Investor’s also have accounts on the portal, through which they can view the entrepreneur’s business proposals and initiate investment.” (Microcapital.org)

Intellecap is an organization that is actively looking for unique and effective approaches to addressing the missing middle and creating means for entrepreneurs to achieve the necessary funding to expand their services. Keyzom Ngodup, who works at the organization, has blogged for us in the past on various ventures that Intellecap has taken and the risks and rewards that have resulted.

The Srijan B-plan competition along with the IDG are two of the many great things that this organization has continued to do. Go here to check out webcasts of the event last week, and if you are interested in learning more about the entrepreneurs, click here to go to the IDG website.

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TC-I FundWatch

Here is a recap of the major investment activity in India’s social venture space and also traditional investment that will directly affect the poor:

Social

  • Chennai based Equitas will secure $12.5 million in funding from two private equity firms over the next few months. The organization intends to use the money to expand its branch office footprint in Southern India.
  • Building upon the increasing interest by both domestic and foreign capital in top tier MFIs, the Ford Foundation and Intellecap have created “Making My MFI Investment Worthy” that will identify and handhold 10 MFIs over the next 2 years to scale them up to where they are attractive to commercial investors.
  • While this story is a little unrelated, Citi — the major US bank — has committed $1.5 million to the Indian School of Business to promote financial inclusion for small investors and enterprise.

Traditional

  • The Indian government is investing a $2 billion fund for expanding broadband internet to rural India. $1.5 billion should come from the private sector.
  • Intel Capital has invested $2.5 million in a new online education company titled Vriti Infocom.

[Guest Post]: Business skills for rural women

Editors Note: Guest Blogger Keyzom Ngodup works with Intellecap, a pioneering social venture capital firm focused on making double bottom-line investments in India. In addition to capital and investment support, Intellecap is unque that they also provide a range of support services that enable social ventures to move from start-up stage into growth mode.

The entire operation of the Hajipur railway station in Bihar was handed over to an all-women team, making history and further paving way for demonstrating women’s capability to perform in a largely male dominated profession. This news comes in the wake of Goldman Sachs announcement of its USD 100 million global initiative 10,000 Women. The effort is aimed at providing business acumen to women in emerging economies through partnerships with 16 MBA programs like Wharton, Columbia and Stanford. As Goldman’s 16-page research on women (available for download here) shows, education of women is the key driver of macroeconomic growth. The project is also designed so that Goldman’s people in the United States and overseas can lend their brainpower by serving as mentors to women entrepreneurs. Goldman’s Sandra Lawson writes:

... greater investments in female education could yield a ‘growth premium’ that raises trend GDP growth by about 0.2% per year. Narrowing the gender gap in employment – which is one potential consequence of expanded female education – could push income per capita as much as 14% higher than our baseline projections by 2020, and as much as 20% higher by 2030.

Interestingly, the Mann Deshi group of organizations in Maharashtra runs a business school for rural women alongside business school on-wheels for rural women in Maharashtra and northern Karnataka. The story on Mann Deshi will be covered in detail in the Human Resources Challenges issue by Microfinance Insights, a quarterly flagship publication of Intellecap focused on collecting and disseminating microfinance analysis across countries and sectors.