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Digitizing Rural Value Chains in India (Intellecap)
Claudius Gutemann, Digitizing Rural Value Chains in India (Intellecap) 12 Sep 2018
Graymatters Capital - coLABS learning report #1
Claudius Gutemann, Graymatters Capital - coLABS learning report #1 25 Jul 2018

Digitizing Rural Value Chains in India (Intellecap)

Intellecap, a pioneer in providing innovative business solutions and part of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, has launched a report on digitizing rural value chains with high women participation in India. The report focuses on enhancing digital finance services to catapult women’s entrepreneurship in rural India. The report was commissioned by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project, implemented by FHI 360.

The report sheds light on rural value chains that have high women participation and are good testing ground for digital financial serviceinterventions that could accelerate India’s financial inclusion agenda and be scaled and replicated in rural India. Women have been identified as the key beneficiaries of this initiative as they play an important role in rural ecosystems both as laborers in sectors like farming and as small-scale entrepreneurs.

Some of the key findings of the report include :

• The dairy value chain has high women participation in rural areas and significant potential to digitise payments directly to dairy farmers' bank accounts. However, low literacy levels and ecosystem gaps on digital transactions are barriers to digital interventions.
• Food and beverage manufacturing in India involves millions of housewives usually operating at the household level. There are significant digital financial service opportunities at this level, including digitisation of savings.
• Deep analysis of rural value chains indicate that rural retail and microfinance are common intersections for financial transactions for rural women,with both of these segments likely to be able to exert influence on rural communities as enablers of change.

Intellecap interacted with over 100 farmers, women entrepreneurs and other small merchants and rural store owners to obtain insights on digital financial service needs and implementation across the value chains in the study.

Vikas Bali, CEO Intellecap, said,“Digital transactions in the rural value chains will bolster financial inclusion quite significantly. Intellecap is building the ecosystems bottom up, to enable digital transactions in rural environments, at par with the urban markets, as the opportunity and potential benefits are significantly larger there. While we have successfully started digitization of the dairy value chain with the potential to impact 2 million+ women farmers, we hope to extend the learnings to multiple other value chains.”

Himanshu Bansal, Project Lead, Intellecap, said, “This report highlights the significant opportunity that exists in rural value chains for digitisation. We have focused on value chainsthat are large, with high women participation, and offer digitisation interventions that are scalable across the country. Successful financial digitisation in rural India warrants the convergence of value chain aggregators with payment enablers, banks, microfinance companies and new age digital lenders in a carefully stitched together and well managed project, which Intellecap is currently executing.”

Josh Woodard, Technical Advisor, FHI 360, said, “Women play a significant role in economic activities in rural India. Digitizing the value chains they participate in is not only key to their financial inclusion, but it is also key to the economic growth of rural India. This report shows that digitizing value chains in rural India can be viable and has the potential to have real and lasting impacts on rural families and communities.”

To Read or Download the Report click here.



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Equality and Empowerment

Graymatters Capital - coLABS learning report #1

From the foreword:

At GMC coLABS, we rely on the entrepreneurs in whom we invest to educate us on how to be better funders. We aren’t the experts in our portfolio companies’ different regions and sectors; they are. They have much greater knowledge and lived experiences, and they operate in the real world dealing with real challenges every day. As investors, we feel that we have a responsibility to share what we are learning from those we support. Our first report focuses on the customer.

Despite the diversity of our portfolio, we find that most entrepreneurs face some of the same challenges. Our hope is that by sharing what we are learning we can help someone else’s journey to becoming a better investor or a better entrepreneur. We encourage you to share this report with anyone in your network who may find it similarly helpful.

We hope our insights are interesting, and welcome any comments and insights of your own.

The coLABS Team



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Gray Ghost Annual Report 2017


This report contains information on Gray Ghost Venture's impact measurement and financial performance, special features on some of their portfolio companies, and continued tracking of their companies against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to further evaluate the social impact of their investees.

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Agriculture (Products, Services, etc.)

Partnership for Growth: Linking Large Firms and Argo-Processing SMEs

World Bank Group, Norad, Sida, Minstry of Foreign Affairs of Finlad, and UKaid |  2018

Employing a bottom-up meets top-down framework, this report highlights the value of linking small farmers and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to modern markets and agro-industries. Utilizing public-private partnerships in emerging markets allows for the opportunity to expand ago-processing and build effective business models by facilitating new market linkages. This report also sets out a number of policy messages and recommendations that have emerged from the preparatory work undertaken in 56 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

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Financial Services

Commercial Relationships between Savings Group and Financial Service Providers

SEEP, Itad, Mastercard Foundation, and UNCDF | 2018

Relations between Savings Groups (SGs) and Financial Service Providers (FSPs) have received both a great deal of attention and considerable funding. In recent years, governments, donors, civil society organizations, and businesses have recognized the critical role that access to financial services can play in the fight against poverty. Despite the high-level of attention financial inclusion has commanded, the barriers to progress are numerous. Most impoverished households have neither the assets nor the skills necessary to interact with formal institutions. This report focuses on addressing these challenges and presenting opportunities for FSPs in working with SGs.

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Financial Services

Accelerating the Flow of Funds into Early-Stage Ventures

Emory Goizuetta Business School; ANDE, The Aspen Institute, USAID, The Lemelson Foundation, Omidyat Network, Argidius, Kauffman Foundation, DOEN, and Citibanamex; Peter Roberts, Abigayle Davidson, Genevieve Edens, and Saurabh Lall | May 2018

Drawing on recent data from the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI), this report examines the impact and effectiveness of accelerator programs models in supporting the ventures of promising entrepreneurs in emerging markets. The report studied 52 accelerator programs to compare the overall flow of funds from program participants to drive incremental funds, and aims to determine the most impactful programmatic models in the sector.

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Financial Services is pleased to share their latest edition of #PitchShare Ecosystem Report - #FinTech in India.

In this edition, they cover:

  • FinTech Themes
  • A snapshot of FinTech in India covering snippets on FinTech themes, category leaders and some rising stars and unheralded heroes
  • life #PitchShare featured startups
  • Expert opinion on the use of deep tech (AI/Blockchain) in financial services
  • Institutional initiatives by governments and incumbent banks/(re)insurers
  • Regulatory landscape
  • Commercial opportunities in the India – UK corridor, given the latter’s position as the global FinTech leader. #PitchShare Ecosystem Report - #FinTech in India

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Agriculture (Products, Services, etc.)

Farming as a Service (Bain & Company)


Please click here to access the full report by Bain & Company.

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Energy and Power

Acumen Energy Impact Report 2017

To understand how their energy portfolio is transforming the lives of low-income people, Acumen spoke with more than 5,500 off-grid customers across 11 countries using Lean Data, Acumen's customer-centric, technology-based approach to impact measurement. The result is the Energy Impact Report, a comprehensive look at the impact of Acumen's 10 years of investing in off-grid energy. 

Please find the report here on Acumen's website.

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Social Investment Landscape in Asia

AVPN has identified the need for a comprehensive overview of the Asian philanthropy and social investment landscape to offer social investors a guide to the opportunities for social investment in Asia. The Social Investment Landscape in Asia will be an invaluable resource for funders and resource providers as they assess the opportunities and challenges for philanthropy and social investment in the region. It is designed to be a guide for both new social investors looking to enter the Asian market and existing social investors exploring cross-border or cross-sector opportunities within the region. The Landscape is another way to further AVPN’s mission to increase the flow of financial, human and intellectual capital to the Asian social sector.

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