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NEW DELHI : Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi), the principal financial institution engaged in the promotion, financing and development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has launched the second window of Swavalamban Challenge Fund (SCF), which aims to provide financial support to non-profit organizations, educational institutions, or social startups for addressing developmental gaps.

According to a press release issued by Sidbi, "The focus is on innovative projects addressing the green, clean, or efficient climate change. Other themes are sustainable livelihood, financial inclusion, and access to financial services and promoting the culture of entrepreneurship."

Sivasubramanian Ramann, IA&AS, chairman and managing director of Sidbi said, “I am pleased to announce the launch of second window of SCF, which is aimed to support impact-oriented proposals addressing developmental challenges. This initiative is a part of Swavalamban Resource Facility being implemented by us in partnership with Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO UK). The themes for second window align with the vision of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji and the commitments India made at 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) of attaining net zero emissions by 2070. The themes for this edition have been curated with focus on green initiatives, including climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, eco-friendly waste reduction practices through recycle, reuse or redesign and offering solutions to reduce carbon footprint in the country. Other responsive themes curated under SCF basket include financial inclusion, promoting healthy living and innovative enterprise solutions. We look forward to innovative proposals from pan-India which can contribute to Aatmanirbhar Bharat and decarbonization of India growth story. Green Bharat is right there, and we are committed to walk along with every innovative solution which makes it greener and prosperous."

SCF is a competitive mechanism to crowd-source innovative and outcome-driven solutions to development challenges. Sidbi has launched the platform to support those non-profit organizations/educational institutions/social start-ups who believe in their capability to innovate and promise to impact the lives. The first cohort of SCF received overwhelming response and support from such zealous and passionate drivers committed to bring about a positive change in the lives of people. Sidbi is the sole facilitator for SCF that envisages a fully digitized competitive challenge to fund innovative ideas aiming for betterment of the society. SCF has been designed, run and monitored by Sidbi with support from FCDO UK, according to the press release.

The proposals can be submitted for undertaking Pilot (upper cap of 20 lakh) and Scale-up (up to 35 lakh) initiatives.

Digitization, sustainability and maximizing convergence with local/state or central government programme shall be an encompassing theme which shall be accorded preference during assessment. Credit connect, job creation and enterprise setting-up shall also be preferred. Community participation and impact shall be accorded priority, as per the press release.

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