Business & Economy

Citi Foundation grants Rs. 130 million to advance financial inclusion in India

NetIndian News Network

Mumbai, February 11, 2016

The Citi Foundation has announced an investment of Rs. 130 million ($2 million) under the 2015 India Innovation Grant Program to support eight innovative programs that will accelerate and deepen financial inclusion in India.
Launched in 2014, the India Innovation Grant Program encourages local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to develop scalable and replicable programs that improve consumer financial decision making while utilizing technology and behavioral insights to lower the cost of delivery and expand financial inclusion in India, a press release from the foundation said.
The initiative is aligned with India's national financial inclusion agenda aimed at improving access to financial services and products for low income populations.
Mr. Pramit Jhaveri, Chief Executive Officer, Citi India, said, "The India Innovation Grant Program – now in its second year - is a pioneering approach by the Citi Foundation to source and scale innovative financial inclusion interventions. The 2015 initiative carries a strong focus on producing positive and measurable financial behavioral change among women and youth by encouraging the accumulation and preservation of financial assets."
The 2015 India Innovation Grant Program experienced an overwhelming response; of the 300 expressions of interest received, programs from eight NGOs were selected after a robust review and approval process.
The eight non-profit organizations that are part of the 2015 India Innovation Grant Program include: Navya Disha Trust, Swadhaar FinAccess, Anudip Foundation for Social Welfare, American India Foundation Trust, Pratham Education Foundation, MelJol, Kalighat Society for Development Facilitation, and Grameen Foundation.
The Citi Foundation's support in India helps to address socio-economic challenges with innovative and strategic grants, which will help enhance and facilitate financial inclusion, promote responsible financial behavior via increased financial literacy and create new income-generating opportunities for individuals from low income households.
Since 1999, the Citi Foundation has supported more than 35 non-profit organizations, benefiting an estimated 2.5 million individuals across India.
Digital Inclusion of Young Aspirants (DIYA) by Anudip Foundation for Social Welfare aims to provide a digital livelihood skills training program to 1,000 low-income youths in Vishakhapatnam and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. The 12-week training program is focused on IT, English, workplace readiness and financial literacy and aims to place at least 720 participants in jobs upon completion.
Livelihood Retention and Financial Sustainability Program for the Youth by Pratham Education Foundation aims to create a viable financing model to fund vocational skills for the underprivileged, equipping low-income students with the skills and knowledge required, enabling 7,000 participants to secure employment.
Technology-Enabled Financial Education in Schools (TEFES) by American India Foundation Trust will develop a standardized and measureable financial education model that can be scaled and institutionalized. It will deliver financial education to 12,000 children in Class 7 integrated with the school curriculum using technology and innovative teaching tools.
Scaling Digital Financial Services & Financial Education by Grameen Foundation will serve at least 27,000 low-income women in Uttar Pradesh who will be trained by 400 frontline workers to uptake the mobile channel for financial services. The program will also roll out relevant mobile financial services and develop e-learning solutions to adequately train frontline workers.
Ascent – Women-led Financial Inclusion by Kalighat Society for Development Facilitation aims to provide financial services to 50,000 urban low-income women in Kolkata by building the capacity of women self-help groups, their leaders and federation of slum and pavement dwellers. In doing so, the initiative will create an enabling environment in which community members will move towards financial inclusion by changing their behavior, using their own assets and engaging more confidently with formal financial services.
Expansion of Innovation in Aflateen Financial and Social Education Program via Aflatoun and Aflateen by MelJol aims to reach over 40,000 children and 160,000 adolescents. Teachers, facilitators, caregivers and self-help group leaders will be trained to deliver home, community and school-level lessons to enhance financial literacy and promote entrepreneurship. This year's program will also feature an entrepreneurship lab to help participants discuss and scale their ideas, develop proposals and start their businesses.
Buzz India by Navya Disha will be expanded to economically empower 6,000 rural women in Karnataka by providing them with tailor-made tools and solutions for business and financial growth. Last year, the program helped participants increase savings by 117% and drastically reduced their reliance on private money lenders. The 2015 grant will enable Navya Disha to deepen engagement, expand geographic coverage and leverage technology and program ambassadors.
‘Money Management Tool' app by Swadhaar FinAccess will encourage bank account usage amongst women in Mumbai. The app will capture the socio-economic information of households or individuals suggest appropriate financial products and will be linked to participants' bank accounts to enable transactions. The app will be piloted amongst 250 women with peer educators as coaches and will then be rolled out to 5,000 community members in Mumbai.
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