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Changing the Paradigm for Energy Finance and Technology for Women
Claudius Gutemann, Changing the Paradigm for Energy Finance and Technology for Women 10 Aug 2018
Capria Announces Partnership with Australian Government to Expand Early-Stage Investing in Southeast Asia
Claudius Gutemann, Capria Announces Partnership with Australian Government to Expand Early-Stage Investing in Southeast Asia 20 Jul 2018
Energy and Power

Changing the Paradigm for Energy Finance and Technology for Women

Last month Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) hosted a provocative discussion on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) at the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The event, co-sponsored by the governments of Ethiopia, Senegal and the United Kingdom, was organized to align with the HLPF’s formal review this year of progress on SDG7.

The event "SDG7: Leaving No One Behind” included diverse speakers who shared successes and challenges in delivering affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy to vulnerable populations living in Asia, Africa and other developing regions. All agreed that sustainable energy is essential to lifting people’s lives and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The discussion also centered on successful entrepreneurs who are bringing sustainable energy to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Ajaita Shah, founder and CEO of Artha's portfolio company Frontier Markets was invited, as a panelist, to talk about how Frontier Markets has been able to put women at the center of her business model and changing the paradigm for Energy Finance and Technology for Women. Some major excerpts from her talk:
1. In India, 270 MN people do not have access to 24/7 power, and women are at the center of that challenge. Solar Sahelis have helped over 400,000 households access electricity and earned over $2 MN of income reinvesting that into their families and communities impacting 2.1 MN people. It's the deepest impact we can strive to achieve.
2. There's an evolution that requires further intervention. Households are asking for more than lighting, they want power and appliances, they want quick service, they want access to finance to make it happen, and in order scale, we need to invest further in our women.
3. Frontier Markets' entrepreneurs are now leaders managing new Sahelis, collecting data through mobile phones which includes needs assessments, village information, and monitoring activities on the ground; Frontier Markets provided basic working capital to these women who increased their outreach and conversion by 33%.
4. Through partnerships with government, non-profits, corporate, investors, and development agencies, Women Prosper (an initiative in partnership with Barefoot College) will build a network of 10,000 women impacting 30 MN people by 2022.
5. We are calling on partners to bring consumer credit for the unbanked, work with us on smart subsidies, use fin-tech, and state of the art data collection for a new model that will deliver to 70% of the rural market in India.

You can also watch the video here: Changing the Paradigm for Energy Finance and Technology for Women

 

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Other

Capria Announces Partnership with Australian Government to Expand Early-Stage Investing in Southeast Asia

Great news from Capria! The company announced on 9th July 2018 a partnership with the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to expand Capria’s global investment platform into the Southeast Asia region.

"In concert with DFAT’s Scaling Frontier Innovation Program, Capria will be leveraging its emerging market experience in Africa, Latin America, and India to form deep, long-term partnerships with innovative regional fund managers that specialize in investing in small, fast-growing businesses."

Read the full press release here.

 

Congratulations from the Artha Team!

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Other

Calling social entrepreneurs - Apply for UnLtd India's incubation support

 

UnLtd's Fellowship levels are tailored to provide the most value to the entrepreneur:

Test & Build – For an entrepreneur who has done basic research and is at an idea/pilot stage, or has created some impact on-ground and is now strengthening the organisation

Growth Challenge – For an entrepreneur who has a proven model, delivers consistent evidence of impact and is now preparing to scale

UnLtd is looking for:
• A socially motivated individual open to receiving capacity building support
• An organization that is 0-5 years old
• A non-profit, social enterprise or hybrid model

Apply Now

Application deadline is 15th March 2017

Applications from all sectors are invited. UnLtd also currently has sector specific programs for agriculture and skill development.

Support from UnLtd India is subject to the organisation’s stage of operations and the entrepreneur’s location.
For any questions, kindly email incubation.support@unltdindia.org or call them on 022 2643 4351.

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Other

Upaya Launches New 2017 Accelerator Program

Since 2011, Upaya Social Ventures has invested in 12 companies that have created over 4,000 jobs for the poorest of the poor. Now, Upaya announces the launch of an accelerator program for social enterprises focused on creating jobs for the poorest communities in India.

With their first program, Upaya is interested in supporting ventures that are creating formal sector job opportunities for the informal sector workforce.

What entrepreneurs get from the program:
• Participants who successfully complete the program will be eligible for investment from Upaya and other investors.
• Each entrepreneur will be assigned a mentor who will coach the company over a 6-month timeframe.
• Participants will take part in three week-long workshops that give them an opportunity to interact with industry experts on topics such as market strategy, financial planning, unit economics, governance, and presentation skills.

Entrepreneurs will graduate from the program armed with a refined business plan, pitch deck, and a roadmap to further build out their businesses.

The deadline to apply is 15 February for a program that will run from April - September 2017.

Entrepreneurs that are best suited for Upaya's first program theme will have the following:
• A services-based business model that provides job placement, organized sector benefits and skilling opportunities to manpower sourced from the poorest of the poor communities
• For-profit, early-stage ventures that have already started generating revenue
• Limited (less than INR 50 lakhs) or no institutional funding received
• A strong commitment to creating jobs for the poorest communities in India, now and in the future

Eligible entrepreneurs may learn more and apply here.

 

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Other

HUL sends mid-level executives to work at startups

According to an article by The Economic Times, Hindustan Unilever is exploring news ways in fostering "an entrepreneurial mindset and agility among key employees".  India's largest consumer product company plans to send some of its mid-level executives to work at startups for three months to two years. Staff staying away for up to one year under this so called "Entrepreneurial Immersion and Secondment initiative" are reported to stay on HUL's payroll, while the cost of the employees staying longer than a year are shared by the company and the startups.

BP Biddappa, executive director for HR, sees in this programme "an opportunity for leader to experience different business models and instil an end-to-end mindset". He further emphasizes that HUL wants "people to be entrepreneurial as they work in a large company - not to take resources or infrastructure for granted, but to approach everything with an owner's mindest."

The startups for the programme are initially selected from Unilevers Venture portfolio. Unilever Ventures was launched in 2011 and has since then made strategic investments in private equity and venture capital funds in the consumer and digital space.

Read the full article here.

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Other

Funding competition: technology solutions for society in India

Innovate UK is investing up to £1.6 million for projects that use cutting-edge solutions to enhance healthcare, clean technology and infrastructure in India.

The aim of this competition is to encourage innovative partnerships between the UK and India. Innovate UK and the Indian government are funding this competition, administered by the Newton Fund.

Projects should address one or more of the following societal challenges:
- clean technology
- affordable healthcare
- electronic system design and manufacture (ESDM) technology solutions for urban, energy, healthcare, infrastructure, disaster management and environmental challenges

Innovate UK expects projects to range in size from total costs of £350,000 to £450,000 in the UK. Projects should last between 12 and 24 months.

If you are a UK business, you can carry out the project as the only UK partner or you can work with others. However, at least one partner must be an Indian business. A UK business must lead the project.

Click here for more details. Click here for online registration and application.

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Other

Access to funds emerges as a major challenge for business leaders seeking to do good

Read why access to investment is still perceived as one of the major challenges for social entrepreneurs according to a poll conducted by The Thomson Reuters Foundation and why India is surprisingly one of the countries where it is easiest to access investment, ranked 5th behind Canada, Singapore, the US and Belgium.

Find the full article here.

 

 

 

 

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Other

Changing the world for girls? Start in India

"If you are a social entrepreneur with ambition, you want to work in a country where your efforts can have a huge incremental effect.  If you want to change the world for girls, then India has to be where you start." (Safeena Husain, Executive Director and Founder of Educate Girls)

Read the full story about Safeena Husain and her company Educate Girls which has enrolled 120,000 girls into goverment schools in some of the worst gender gap districts in India.

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Agriculture Products

Villgro incubates agri start-up GRoboMac

Villgro announces a new addition to their investment and incubation portfolio - GRoboMac (Green Robot Machinery Private Limited), a social enterprise that develops farm robotics for harvesting farm produce. The company is currently developing a cotton-picking machine that will be bought by large farmers or FAAS (Farming As A Service Companies), who will rent it out to smaller cotton farmers for harvesting cotton.

Agriculture in India is primarily dependent on manual labour; however, according to a FICCI study between 2004-05 and 2011-12 the agricultural workforce has reduced by 30.57 million people.

Started in 2014, GRoboMac is working to mechanize farm tasks by building smart machinery using 3D vision technology and robotics. The company's first product is a cotton-picking machine that aims at reducing drudgery and dependency on farm labour while maintaining the quality and speed of human picking. Non-availability of farm labour is the single biggest deterrent for farmers to grow cotton, although cotton is a profitable cash crop.

Read more here and here.

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