Social Business Learning and Innovation Fund (SBLIF) has been created to encourage innovative enterprises to undertake social businesses. SBLIF intends to support Social business models through learning by doing approach on a pilot basis. Successful and tested models can gradually be scaled up and replicated. The proposed modes of funding these social businesses include: project ﬁnancing, equity ﬁnancing, working capital ﬁnancing, joint‐venture or 100% Grameen Telecom Trust (GTT) ownership etc.
WHAT IS INNOVATION?
Under social business model, innovation is not invention! Here, innovation rather refers to applying already existing knowledge and activities in a powerful and eﬀective new way in terms of process improvement / technology, organization, product and/or market positioning etc. GTT considers those enterprises as innovative which take creative steps in beneﬁting its clients, with a social objective of broadening opportunities, for instance, through ensuring wage employment or increased income or oﬀering aﬀordable products and services. These entrepreneurial activities eventually improve socio‐economic condition of the target clients as a whole, following the principles of social business.
CRITERIA FOR SBLIF PROJECT PARTNERSHIP
Projects and businesses that GTT looks forward to partnering with must strive for:
- Economic innovation – ﬁnancial / non‐ﬁnancial provisioning to ensure range of beneﬁts to the target group in terms of employment, income and improvement of quality of life;
- Enterprise‐led innovation – creating employment of the target group through buy‐back on ‘best price’ and
Social innovation ‐ provisioning for social beneﬁts to speciﬁc segments of the target group.
- The target group includes‐ poor, ultra poor, dalits, underprivileged ethnicities and minorities, economically and socially marginalized and disadvantaged people, single women headed households, micro entrepreneurs, unemployed youth etc.
Criteria for Social Business Project under SBLIF
> Projects must have a ‘key focus’. Such as:
- Creation of market linkage to ensure impoverished producers / geographically and economically isolated communities get the “best price” for their products;
- Revival or promotion of a potential industry/sector/value chain that will lead to employment generation through skill enhancement, design improvement, technological up‐gradation, new market access etc;
- Promotion of national heritage (e.g. tourism, sports, events) and traditional products (e.g. food items, pottery, handloom products)through greater public awareness, new market opportunities (e.g. corporate gift / event items; Promotion and support of grassroots’ entrepreneurship (e.g. rural marketing of aﬀordable products);
- Promotion of climate change adaptation and mitigation mechanisms (e.g. introducing salinity and/or drought resistant crop varieties, drinking water supply in the salinated coastal areas, early warning mechanism to cope with disaster);
- Addressing social issues (e.g. education, health, rights and empowerment), green energy (e.g. solar energy, bio‐gas energy) and business development services through access to training, market linkage, value chain analysis and value added ﬁnancial services (e.g. micro‐insurance covering health, life and assets).
> Projects must be feasible and sustainable in terms of i) replication and/or scaling up; or at least ii) possibility of knowledge transfer into future social ventures.
> Projects must be environmentally friendly through reduced emission, reduced toxic level, energy eﬃciency and/or waste control (e.g. eco‐toilet, improved cooking stoves) by product and process improvements;
> Projects should directly or indirectly beneﬁt the disadvantaged or marginalized communities through ﬁnancial and social inclusiveness.
SBLIF Projects of GTT at a Glance