UNITED Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with Samhita-Collective Good Foundation’s (CGF) REVIVE Alliance, has committed to supporting and restoring the livelihoods of informal workers, nano and micro-entrepreneurs, artisans and women collectives who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
REVIVE is a recently launched $6.85 million multi-stakeholder blended finance facility, also supported by USAID, Omidyar Network India, and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. It leverages corporate and philanthropic funds to provide accessible and affordable capital in the form of grants, returnable grants and credit, to previously employed or self-employed workers and at-risk small enterprises. These grants and credit help them to restart and sustain their work or find alternative business and livelihood opportunities.
UNDP Resident Representative in India, Shoko Noda shared, “The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the lives and livelihoods of India’s informal workers and micro-entrepreneurs – especially women who are already economically disadvantaged or dependent on others. We, at UNDP India, are proud to be a part of the REVIVE initiative that provides accessible and affordable capital as grants and credit to help small enterprises recover better and faster. Together with Samhita-CGF and partners, we aim to restore the livelihoods of 100,000 workers and micro-enterprises across India.”
This partnership complements REVIVE’s current work and will provide critical technical assistance such as business advisory, capacity building, digital skills, and market linkages, in addition to ensuring better and equal access to social protection systems for the informal sector workers.”
So far, with its anchor funders and partner companies, the REVIVE Alliance is on track to reach 38,000 individuals and micro-enterprises of its 1,00,000 target, across diverse cohorts such as beautypreneurs, blue-collared workers, street vendors, construction workers, sanitation workers, artisans and farmers. While joining the alliance as an anchor partner, UNDP aims to extend the support to small-scale retail and micro-entrepreneurs, artisans, construction workers, youth and informal sector workers who lost their jobs and livelihoods during the pandemic.
Commenting on the partnership, CEO of Samhita Social Ventures, Priya Naik, stated, “The REVIVE Alliance is unique, bringing together a host of different actors and introducing innovative financial instruments like returnable grants, allowing companies and philanthropies to achieve higher impact with their investments. We are proud to have UNDP on board as an anchor funder. This partnership will surely augment REVIVE’s mission to help India’s most vulnerable communities overcome their economic setbacks from the pandemic.”
UNDP India has been designing innovative financial instruments to catalyse development outcomes through its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Finance Facility. Currently, it has been supporting the municipality of Pimpri Chinchwad (PCMC) to design India’s first social impact bond. UNDP has also recently launched the SDG Investor Map for India to identify opportunities for private sector investments opportunities to achieve the SDGs and collaborated with the Ministry of Finance to strengthen the sustainable finance agenda as a part of the Sustainable Finance Collaborative.