Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), in partnership with Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, UK (FCDO UK) has launched Swavalamban Challenge Fund (SCF).
A challenge fund is a fund support mechanism to allocate funds for specific purposes using competition among organizations. Suppose there is an idea which needs to be piloted or scaled up, but funds are an issue, challenge fund provides solution platform to present the idea in prescribed theme, implement and validate it. Later, the same can be scaled up by leveraging other donor and financer support.
Shri Sivasubramanian Ramann, CMD SIDBI, said the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is going on and the Bank thought to give a fillip to actionable/innovative initiatives leading to further ease of independence to entrepreneurship. “Challenge fund comes with this perspective in mind. I am sure removing barriers and easing the seamless development flow through innovative solutions shall be fostered through this challenge fund.”
The SCF shall provide financial support to non-profit organizations, educational institutions, social start-ups which have focus on sustainable livelihood, financial inclusion, and access to financial services besides promoting the culture of entrepreneurship in the country. On select six themes of livelihood, women empowerment, financial literacy, responsible business etc. eligible entities can submit their proposal for award.
Under this fund, applications are invited in two categories – Pilot Category and Scale-up Category. Under the Pilot Category, applicants can apply with their proposal to pilot, test, trial their innovative ideas while in the Scale-up category, already ongoing, completed projects done by the applicants for scaling-up can be nominated. The present window shall be open up to August 21, 2021.
The total outlay of fund will depend on the number of proposals selected in various themes and category-wise amount allocated is up to Rs 20 lakh for the Pilot Category and up to Rs 35 lakh for the Scale-up Category. To operationalize the fund, the project period shall be more than six months and up to two years.