From the launch of the ‘UN India-NITI Aayog Investor Consortium for Women Entrepreneurs’ to a roundtable on ‘Innovative Financing for the SDGs’, the United Nations in India hosted a series of initiatives fast-tracking India’s path towards Agenda 2030.
Recognising the many challenges that women entrepreneurs in India face with respect to accessing investors and successfully raising funding, the UN India Business Forum (UNIBF) and the Women Entrepreneurship Platform of NITI Aayog (WEP) have established the UN India-Niti Aayog Investor Consortium for Women Entrepreneurs. The Consortium has as its members, Aavishkaar, Ankur Capital, Omidyar Network, SIDBI, Seedfund Advisors, Trust Group and WE Hub, and is a platform which will work on reducing prevalent gender disparities in start-up investments through mentoring programmes and networking opportunities, and initiatives to accelerate financial and market linkages. Read more here.
An outcome of the CEO roundtable, a dedicated working group was formed on ‘financing for development’. At the first meeting of this group, participants, who included international and domestic financing institutions, impact investors and foundations, shared best practices from the water and renewable energy sectors as well as their perspectives on high-impact working models. The discussion focused on how the larger group could bring in greater convergence and collaboration, and also facilitate scalable solutions across the thematic segments of the UNIBF.
In October 2018, YES Bank and the SDG Financing group of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) led a roundtable discussion on ‘Innovative Financing for the SDGs’. The discussion, moderated by Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and attended by senior leaders from the banking, development finance, impact investment, and social enterprise space, discussed the surge of solutions that India is already witnessing and the need to replicate and scale these to the national level. Participants also shared their experiences of the green bonds segment, as well as their perspectives on the need for commercial viability of innovative financing mechanisms.
Going forward, the UN in India is working on a ‘Green Low-Income Housing Fund’ to support the development of green affordable housing in the country and an Impact Finance Fund towards greater financial inclusion.