The blog below was originally posted in the "End Poverty in South Asia" blog.
Operation Asha was awarded a USD 50,000 grant in 2011 after competiting in the India Development Marketplace themed: "Supporting Inclusive Business Models to Scale". For more information on that competition, click here.
It looked like an ordinary little drugstore. A reasonable supply of medication on the right, and man behind a small desk in the middle.
But what was on the desk was not ordinary: a netbook laptop and a fingerprint scanner. And on the left were boxes, all the same medication, with names written on them. “Try it,” Neema said. “Scan your finger.” I did and the screen turned yellow. “You have never been here yet” said Neema, “I cannot give you any medication.”
How we support agribusiness and handicrafts sector in Upper Egypt
Last week I met 35 entrepreneurs from Assyut, Aswan, Beni Seouf, Cairo, Fayoum, Giza, Luxor , Minya, Qena, Sharkeyya, Sohag. Some of these names aren’t familiar and there is a reason for that…
They had just been awarded 25,000 dollars each through the Egypt Development Marketplace (DM) competition because their businesses have potential to grow, and create jobs for some of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in Upper Egypt.
I was struck by the new innovative ideas for example using palm trees to produce handicrafts and high quality affordable furniture. But also by the revival of local industries such as the ancient Upper Egyptian carpet weaving produced by ferka, not only generating income for marginalized girls and women, but also renewing pride in Egypt’s remarkable culture and heritage. Whether producing local honey, or adding value to products through food processing of tomato paste, olive oil or dairy products specifically for low-income families, these businesses had deserved their cash reward.
- Upper Egypt
- Urban Development
- Private Sector Development
- Labor and Social Protection
- Information and Communication Technologies
- Financial Sector
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Middle East and North Africa
- Egypt, Arab Republic of
Thirty-five organizations will be awarded $800,000 by the Egypt Development Marketplace (DM) funded by The World Bank Group (WBG) and its local and international partners. Each of the grantees will receive $25,000 to scale up their business model that would generate employment in the agriculture and handicraft sectors. Winning organizations will beshowcased at a DM sponsored event. A number of financial institutions, social entrepreneurs, investors, development organizations, and government officials will also participate in the event to bring attention to organizations implementing innovative solutions to unemployment in the country.
Overwhelming response to “Call for Proposal”
The call for proposals was launched in November and closed in January. At closing, 180 proposals from 171 organizations were submitted for funding. Preference was given to projects implemented in Upper Egypt and the majority of proposals were for projects in Minya. Applicants comprised the following types of organizations: 89 percent were Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), 7 percent were private companies and 4 percent were foundations.
From its conception, the Egypt DM has been designed to surface and build the skills of organizations creating jobs in the country, primarily in the poorest areas with an emphasis on Upper Egypt. To generate interest in the competition and to ensure organizations operating in targeted areas applied, outreach events were held in Assyut, Qena, Aswan, and Minya. As a follow up, skill-building workshops in business planning were held for each of the 70 finalists to ensure high quality proposals were submitted.
- Labor and Social Protection
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Middle East and North Africa
- United Kingdom
- Egypt, Arab Republic of
- Development Marketplace
- Social Entreprenuership
The 2013 India DM is focused on identifying social enterprise projects that have the potential to scale the impact of their work in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Read more about the eligibility criteria for the 2013 India DM.
The call for proposal was launched in January 2013 and we received over a 190 proposals in response. After a series of rigorous, merit based evaluations by a panel of development experts from inside and outside the World Bank, 30 projects were shortlisted for the due diligence and capacity building diagnostic. Seven teams comprising of senior assessors from the World Bank, Innovation Alchemy and independent subject matter experts have been traveling all across the country in the last two weeks to meet with the teams at the head office as well as in the field to identify the gaps in the model (if any) and determine how the World Bank could support these projects in addressing them, if they won the grant funding.
Following the in-depth evaluation and needs assessment review of the projects, 20 projects have been invited to showcase their projects at the Development Marketplace event in Bhopal on 1st May 2013.
An Introduction to the finalists
The projects include a very rich and diverse range of products & services targeted to impact the base of the pyramid in these states. Models built around low-cost infant warmers; mobile science labs for rural schools and mobile phone based information & case research systems demonstrate innovative application of technology. Other programs target complex social challenges such as adolescent girl trafficking; connecting school drop out youth to skills & jobs; managing tuberculosis treatment in very poor communities and facilitating use of organic fertilizers. And some of the projects demonstrate extensive experiments in enhancing business models, such as a hybrid model for facilitating bee keeping, exploring sustainable business through carbon credits, agro forestry and rural productivity hubs for farmer collectives.
Of the twenty finalist projects, seven of them are registered for-profit organizations, twelve projects have a non-profit base and one operates as a hybrid. Six of the finalist projects are targeting Madhya Pradesh for scale and replication; seven projects are targeting their work in Jharkhand; 4 in Chhattisgarh and 3 projects intend to work in more than one target state.
Four projects are intended to directly impact women and another four projects are seeking to impact children, including one that is focused on the girl child. Apart from that projects are designed to impact tuberculosis patients in poor communities, farmers, rickshaw drivers and the youth.
Projects Targeting Jharkhand
- SOUTH VIHAR WELFARE SOCIETY FOR TRIBALS – Combating human trafficking by empowering adolescent girls and improving their health status.
- ALTERNATIVE FOR INDIA DEVELOPMENT – Delivery of banking/ financial inclusion products/ services to excluded families by combining Panchayat kiosk banking outlets and Self Help Group strategies.
- WATER LIFE INDIA – Sustainable community water systems for safe drinking water.
- EMBRACE INNOVATION – Deployment of Embrace infant warmers in low-resource government hospitals and measuring impact over time.
- OPERATION ASHA – Implementation of eCompliance to supplement their treatment/ prevention of tuberculosis and turn the tap off on Multi-Drug Resistant TB in Jharkhand’s tribal regions.
- DIMAGI SOCIAL INNOVATION – Working on using/ developing technology to increase the quality of services provided by community health workers.
- IMERIT TECHNOLOGY SERVICES – Empowering marginalized women by training them in IT-based livelihoods.
Please note that deadline to submit your applications for the Tech Awards has been extended to May 8th!
Know someone who is changing the world?
Encourage them to apply to the Tech Awards 2013!
"There is not a group that you would rather
be stuck on an island with than The Tech Awards laureates." -Michael MacHarg, Simpa Networks,
laureate, The Tech Awards 2012
The Tech Awards, a signature program of The Tech Museum, is an international awards program that honors innovators from around the world who are applying technology to benefit humanity.
In 2013, The Tech Awards will honor 10 international innovators who are applying technology to confront humanity’s most urgent challenges. The Tech Awards honors individuals, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies who are using technology to significantly improve human conditions in 5 awards categories. The technology used can be either a new invention or an innovative use of an existing technology.
Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors – both in terms of revenue and employment. Although the country’s healthcare industry is projected to continue its rapid expansion, with an estimated market value of US $280 billion by 2020, increased population growth in India’s low-income communities has resulted in a lack of affordable and easily accessible quality healthcare for millions of people.
As a comparison China has 30 hospital beds every 10,000 people, whereas India has only 12. The figures are even more alarming for nurses. In the United States there are 98 nurses per 10,000 people and in India there are only 13.
Despite government efforts to improve widespread access to quality healthcare, India’s existing infrastructure continues to be insufficient resulting in limited treatment options, especially for low-income families.
Recognizing the need for innovation within healthcare, in 2012, Ennovent, a business accelerator, partnered with the University Impact Fund, one of the world’s first student driven impact-investing firms, to research the opportunities available for entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and experts to add value to the Indian healthcare industry.
D.Light design, a Development Marketplace (DM) grantee (through the Lighting Africa Program in 2008), was chosen as the recipient of the prestigious Zayed Future Energy Prize, the world’s largest annual award in the renewable energy and sustainability sector.
"We are very honored to win the Zayed Future Energy Prize," said d.light Chairman and CEO Donn Tice. "d.light represents an essential part of the future of energy: small-scale, distributed energy solutions at the community, household and individual level. Winning this prize will enable us to transform millions more lives that we would not otherwise reach as quickly. This is not just a win for d.light, but for everyone without access to reliable grid power.“
Combining the experience of running the DM2006 award winning social enterprise: Ideas-at-Work (IaW), the knowledge acquired with the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) program (2007), and her recent completion of an MBA (2012), Angelique Smit decided to found the Social Enterprise Support initiative, a network group that provides support and advice to fellow social entrepreneurs in a variety of areas.
Created after intense consultation with social entrepreneurs about their support needs in their path to build successful business models, Social Enterprise Support (SE-Support) emerged as a place where social entrepreneurs from all over the world find fellow social-minded entrepreneurs for a sounding board, bouncing ideas, brainstorming or advice.
THE WORLD BANK 2013 INDIA DEVELOPMENT MARKETPLACE COMPETITIVE GRANT
With a grant pledge of USD 1 million, the 2013 India Development Marketplace (India DM) seeks to build on the work it has done in supporting social enterprises in India so far. This World Bank initiative aims to surface high-impact social development solutions that have demonstrated initial outcomes and provide catalytic support in helping to scale their work further.
Applying a multi-layer approach, the DM meets this objective first by providing crucial funding to back these projects (USD 50,000 to USD 100,000 per project funded) and then by enabling necessary technical assistance (through an empaneled group of local and regional firms & experts) to help organizations effectively address challenges of scale.
Launched on January 21st of this year, the 2013 India DM focused on 3 low-income states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. The call for proposal invited all social sector organizations (for-profit and non-profit entities) seeking to scale projects in these states, to apply for the grant. Over 190 project proposals have been received from across India in response to the call for proposal, within the stipulated timeline of 30 days, while the call was open.
Social enterprise is naturally democratic and plays an important role in finding solutions to the social upheaval of the Middle East
A protester waves the national flagin front of the burnt out National Democratic Party building of former President Mubarak's ruling party in November 2011. Photograph: Amr Nabil/AP
For two years, I have resisted use of the term Arab Spring to describe the events that have been unfolding in Egypt and the Middle East and North Africa. It is an unrealistic label to use, its application verging on naïve, even lazy, in this situation. Spring is a time where something with strong roots, carefully nurtured, flourishes and grows. We are not there yet; I hope that we may be soon.
What the world witnessed in the initial 18 days of uprising and subsequent political and social developments was a rediscovery of our ability to effect change, a realisation that mass protest is one way to make our collective voice heard.