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Grameen Impact Ventures makes it to finals of MIT Solve Digital Inclusion Challenge

Grameen Impact Ventures combines the power of digital platforms and on-ground women working as self-employed community agents. Its tech-driven model builds digital capability and brings affordable services to the rural low-income community
Grameen Impact Ventures makes it to finals of MIT Solve Digital Inclusion Challenge
Grameen Impact Ventures makes it to finals of MIT Solve Digital Inclusion Challenge (Representational Image: Shutterstock)

Grameen Impact Ventures (GIV), a social business incubated by Grameen Foundation India joins the ranks of top 15 finalists in the Digital Inclusion Challenge organised by MIT Solve 2021 – a competition to identify scalable and impact making initiatives to solve the most pressing global challenges. The challenge attracted over 1,800 applications from across 128 countries across six tracks. 
 
The Digital Inclusion challenge seeks solutions to build an inclusive digital economy – that affords everyone an opportunity to lead a dignified and productive life with access to digital services. GIV emerged as one of the 15 finalists to address the challenge to build reliable channels for access to commerce, credit lines, safety nets, and saving mechanisms in remote rural areas, for the underbanked informal workers and the unbanked population.
 
GIV is also a flag-bearer for India in MIT Solve as one of the only two Indian entries to have made it to the finals. This recognition at the global stage underscores a remarkable journey for GIV, which was established just two years ago with the aim to bring financial, digital, agricultural and assisted e-commerce services to the low-income segments, particularly women.
 
GIV combines the power of digital platforms and trusted, on-ground women working as self-employed community agents. Its agile tech-driven model builds digital capability and brings appropriate and affordable services to the rural low-income community. Built for ‘Bharat’ the solution is scalable across most emerging economies in the world. The model creates self-employment for women as Grameen Mittra, who serve the community members around them. Besides building their own agency and capability, they also ensure that the rural communities are empowered with the knowledge of digital services and can conveniently and confidently access the same. GIV’s human-centred design addresses key barriers to adoption such as awareness, appropriateness, convenience and trust.
 
Prabhat Labh, Founder, Grameen Impact Ventures said, “For the GIVers, success is, when a neo-literate, physically challenged old woman in a remote village can access digital platforms and government schemes and lead her life with hope and dignity. We enable the smallholder farmers to access information, inputs and markets to increase their income and be more resilient.”
 
Since the launch, over 880 women have become self-employed as Grameen Mittras and have enabled over 162,000 transactions and onboarded over 874,000 customers, generating over Rs.16 crore in transactions across the four districts — Nagpur, Nashik, Bhandara in Maharashtra and Nawada in Bihar — GIV works. These women entrepreneurs are transforming the rural economy through the economic inclusion of the marginalised households.
 
“Moving forward, GIV aims to expand its footprint to serve 25 million people by the year 2025,” added Prabhat Labh.

What’s MIT Solve Initiative?

MIT Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, dedicated to identifying and supporting promising tech-powered solutions as they address the world’s toughest problems. The Digital Inclusion Track of MIT Solve 2021 sought for solutions to build an inclusive digital economy – that affords everyone the opportunity to lead a dignified and productive life. Over 430 applications were submitted in this track to build reliable channels for access to commerce, credit lines, safety nets, and saving mechanisms in remote and rural areas, for the underbanked informal workforce and the unbanked.

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