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Grameen Impact Ventures Makes it to the Finals of MIT Solve Digital Inclusion Challenge

Grameen Impact Ventures (GIV), a social business incubated by Grameen Foundation India joins the ranks of top 15 finalists in the Digital Inclusion Challenge organized by MIT Solve 2021 – one of the most prestigious competitions 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 of GIV 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 farmer 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 a Grameen MittrasTM and have enabled over 162,000 transactions and onboarded over 874,000 customers, generating over Rs. 16 crores in transactions across the 4 districts GIV works. These women entrepreneurs are transforming the rural economy through economic inclusion of the marginalised households.

“Moving forward, GIV aims to expand its footprint to serve 25 million people by the year 2025,” says Prabhat Labh.

About MIT Solve

MIT Solve is an initiative of 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.

The Virtual Solve Challenge Finals 2021 will unveil the 2021 Solver class and announce more than $2 Million in prize funding for innovators with solutions to the 2021 Global Challenges: Digital Inclusion, Anti-Racist Technology in the US, Equitable Classrooms, Resilient Ecosystems, and Health Security & Pandemics.

About Grameen Impact Ventures

Grameen Impact Ventures is a social business, incubated by Grameen Foundation India, a leading social impact organization working on financial inclusion, agriculture-based livelihoods and health and nutrition initiatives with the mission to enable the poor, especially women to overcome poverty and hunger. Inspired by Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus, Grameen works in partnership with leading development organizations to ideate, innovate and scale breakthrough solutions that reach underserved populations, particularly women. GIV’s digital platform bridges the gap in availability and access of last-mile access to digital financial services to low-income and under-served sections (like women, farmers) who face multiple barriers. GIV’s solutions address lack of knowledge and awareness, trust deficit, convenience, affordability, and accessibility. By the year 2025 through its network of Women Entrepreneurs called Grameen MittrasTM, GIV aims to serve 25 million people.

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