New Delhi: The Millennium Alliance program organized an innovation expo in the capital to announce the awardees of its fifth round of funding. Thirty-six social enterprises representing sectors such as clean energy, agriculture, health, education, water and sanitation and disability from across India will receive the funding, totaling Rs. 23.5 crore.
In addition to funding, the initiative will provide the social entrepreneurs with support for capacity building, business development, investor-connect, networking and showcasing opportunities.
The Millennium Alliance (MA) is a consortium of partners including the Department of Science and Technology, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), FICCI, UKAID, ICCO Cooperation, World Bank Group and Facebook, and has funded 122 social innovations projects over the last five years with a total grant of Rs. 87 crore.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Mark Anthony White, USAID Mission Director to India, said “The Millennium Alliance has provided so many insights on bringing together unique capabilities of each stakeholder – public and private, entrepreneurs and investors, government and bilateral agencies- and applying them to problems that once seemed insurmountable.”
Dr. Bindu Dey, Secretary, Technology Development Board, Govt. of India paid high tributes to the awardees for the great contribution to society. The Millennium Alliance, she said, had grown from an event into an impactful program. She expressed optimism that the program has matured and can now be scaled to the next level.
Gavin McGillivray, Head of the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) said “DFID is happy to partner with FICCI and others on the Millennium Alliance to provide a platform for enterprising innovators to pilot and scale up proven Indian innovations for development impact in Africa and South Asia. The Millennium Alliance is helping change lives for the better in India and all over the world.”
A third-party analysis shows that the Millennium Alliance initiative, through supporting enterprises, has to date improved the lives of seven million poor and vulnerable populations. Working across sectors like basic education, agriculture, healthcare, water and sanitation and clean energy, the enterprises supported by MA were able to leverage 2.5 times additional funds from external sources to reach and impact families. Twelve Indian enterprises are also applying their innovations in Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Uganda, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Nirankar Saxena, Deputy Secretary General, FICCI stated, “The Millennium Alliance is a unique partnership that has continuously expanded over the last five years. The programme has supported over 112 social enterprises and has demonstrated that India is a hotbed of innovation. Our entrepreneurs are committed to address development challenges through innovative solutions impacting lives globally.”