Context

The Samridhi Fund is an approx. ₹430 crore social venture capital fund set up with contributions from Department for International Development (DFID), Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and United India Insurance Company Limited (UIIC). The primary objective of the Fund is to provide risk capital to scalable enterprises which provide economic, social or environmental benefits to the poor in eight low income sates of India, while achieving attractive risk-adjusted returns through long term capital appreciation. It is being managed by SIDBI Venture Capital Limited (SVCL), a subsidiary of SIDBI.

Economic growth accounts for 80% of the poverty reduction that the world has seen. Economic development needs a vibrant private sector to fuel growth, create jobs and generate more revenue from taxes that help finance public services. While India has done well in terms of economic growth, there is significant disparity within India’s States. Over 65% of India’s poor live in the States of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and West Bengal. These States have suffered from lower investments and poor infrastructure.

Social enterprises in India are solving some of the most complex developmental problems using market based approaches. As per Intellecap report, since 2000, India has attracted investments worth more than $1.6 billion; 600 million in social enterprises over last 8 years. But most of the success has been concentrated more in the prosperous south and western India. There is a strong need to channel more resources in such pro-poor impact enterprises to help them grow and scale-up in the low income States.