World Bank's social aid

Ranchi, Jan. 31: The World Bank is willing to offer grants-in-aid up to $100,000 to social organisations in Jharkhand under its "Development of Marketplace in India" programme.

The proposal aims at identifying and addressing women-centric issues related to their education, healthcare and livelihood opportunities.

Speaking to mediapersons in Ranchi, external affairs adviser, World Bank, Sudip Mozumder said this was a unique platform for innovative social enterprises to scale up their development solutions.

The World Bank will receive online applications from interested parties till February 20. Their performances in the particular sector over the last two years will be examined by a team of experts before funds are sanctioned.

"Selected organisations will receive a grant ranging from $50,000 to $100,000. This apart, they will get mentoring and capacity building support for 15 months. The World Bank will also help them find local partners who will guide them in areas of business planning, financial management and organisational development," he clarified.

The total budget for this programme is $1 million and will cover the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Both profit-making and non-profit organisations are eligible to avail benefits under the scheme. Social organisations operating in other states can also apply, but they will have to find local partners in the state they want to work.

"The India Development Marketplace programme was started by World Bank in 2004. Initially, it was carried out every four years. But, now it is for every alternate year. In 2011, the pilot projects were taken up in Bihar, Rajasthan and Odisha. One can visit our website to take a look at the success stories in these states," Mozumder added.

IIM, Ranchi, has been roped in for success of the programme in the state capital. An interactive session with social enterprises will be held at the management institute on February 5, where participants will be told about advantages of this scheme. A symposium will be held in Bhopal in April or May, where kiosks will be put up by entrepreneurs who have already benefited from the scheme.

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