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2012-09-24

Intellecap launches forum to support businesses in low-income states

Mumbai-based impact investing advisory firm Intellecap has teamed up with the Department for International Development (DFID), UK, to launch a regional forum named ‘Sankalp Forum-Samridhi Social Enterprise Recognition’ to address sustainable and scalable

Mumbai-based impact investing advisory firm Intellecap has teamed up with the Department for International Development (DFID), UK, to launch a regional forum named ‘Sankalp Forum-Samridhi Social Enterprise Recognition’ to address sustainable and scalable business ventures in the country's eight low-income states. German developmental services organization GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) is also a part of the initiative. 

The forum aims to support businesses focused on the bottom-of-the-pyramid in the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

“The eight low-income states face a shortage of infrastructure and their economies have yet to generate sufficient jobs to lift millions out of poverty," said Meenakshi Nath, Deputy Head, DFID.

 “As a part of the initiative, we are currently inviting nominations from businesses in clean energy, agriculture and food and provision of basic services sectors,” said Aparajita Agarwal, Director Initiatives, Intellecap.

“There is a cash grant of Rs 5 lakh for an enterprise that will showcase social impact with a strong business model and an additional cash grant of Rs 2 lakh for an enterprise that produces maximum positive impact on women. The enterprises will be recognised at a regional summit scheduled on 16th October 2012 in Patna, Bihar,” Agarwal added.

Moreover, participating enterprises will have the opportunity to get capacity-building inputs, strategic advice and mentoring from industry experts as well as an exclusive access to key impact investors.

Talking about the initiative, Manfred Heibig, head of GIZs private sector program, said, "GIZ along with SIDBI and other partners work towards strengthening the support infrastructure for these small businesses by improving access to capital and incubation services."

The Samridhi forum is an extension of the Sankalp Forum, which has since 2009 created a community of over 10,000 stakeholders comprising social entrepreneurs, impact investors, corporations, academics and policymakers to catalyze the flow of capital to sustainable and scalable enterprises in India.

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