In a bid to restore livelihoods lost during the COVID-19 crisis, Samhita-Collective Good Foundation (CGF), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) and Omidyar Network India have collaborated to launch a $6.85 million blended finance facility called REVIVE.
The financing facility, also supported by corporates such as Arvind Limited and Godrej Consumer Products Limited and foundations like Brihati Foundation powered by Claris, will provide accessible and affordable capital in the form of grants, returnable grants* and loans to previously employed or self-employed workers and at-risk nano and micro enterprises to either restart and sustain their work or find alternative business opportunities. The facility is expected to reach between 60,000-100,000 workers and enterprises and will give preference to youth and women. REVIVE will also undertake upskilling activities for laid-off youth and informal sector workers.
Priya Naik, Founder and CEO, Samhita said: “In order to alleviate the livelihood crisis and kick-start the economic recovery process, REVIVE will work with companies and foundations to plug the gap around timely, affordable and accessible capital for entrepreneurs and micro enterprises that form critical backbones of businesses and the national economy. This will have a positive impact on economic activity, self-employment, and household consumption, giving families and small businesses the agency to pay their dues, buy daily business supplies and invest in protective gear and other operations to sustain and thrive.”
Ramona El Hamzaoui, USAID/India Acting Mission Director, stated: “The United States and India have a long history of collaboration in the health and development areas, and our cooperative response to COVID-19 builds on this strong partnership. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant negative impact on the global economy, including India and its citizens. The impact on women and youth has been higher. USAID is proud to support REVIVE and its noble effort to help these vulnerable groups with the economic recovery process and to contribute again to their families and their country’s growth and development.”
Rahil Rangwala, Director, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, added: “COVID has displaced so many workers in the informal sector, and has had a tremendous impact on our economy. REVIVE is a powerful platform aligned with our goal to support programs that bring people back to a road to recovery and reignite the economy. “
Siddharth Nautiyal, Partner, Omidyar Network India, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has most impacted the vulnerable sections of India and a large chunk of India’s “Next Half Billion”- the vendors, gig-economy workers, small businesses and daily wage earners and low-middle income Indians, whom we seek to serve through our investments. This segment of the population needs immediate financial support to reskill, restock inventories and rebuild resilience. Through REVIVE, we aim to restore livelihoods through accessible and affordable capital thereby giving a much-needed impetus to small businesses and aiding economic recovery’’
The REVIVE Alliance will initiate partnerships with a range of stakeholders, including companies and foundations as fundraising partners, and business chambers, non-banking financial companies, social organisations and prominent sector influencers who will provide robust expertise and implementation support.
Among the companies and foundations that have come onboard, Arvind Limited will support workers from the textile industry who have lost their jobs; Godrej Consumer Products Limited will support beautypreneurs; and Brihati Foundation powered by Claris will support farmers and street vendors.