Patna: Only three entrepreneurs from Bihar could made it to the list of 67 finalists who would receive economic and social capital as well as mentorship from the state government for the last mile delivery and implementation of rural solutions, at the concluding function of 2nd Bihar Innovation Forum (BIF) to be organized on Thursday and Friday.
BIF is a joint initiative of Jeevika ( Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society) and the World Bank that awards social innovators who have developed impactful rural enterprises across India.
BIF (II) was launched in April 2013, inviting applications from entrepreneurs with impactful social innovations from public, private and civil society organizations, under eight livelihood themes – agriculture, livestock, financial services, rural energy, ICT-based solutions, skill development and non-farm sector, access to public entitlements and access to services. It received 500 applications of which 67 were shortlisted through a competitive multistep process.
Thirty-two of them will be selected as winners to be honoured by CM Nitish Kumar at the valedictory function on Friday.
The three finalist companies are Husk Power System (HPS), Saija Finance Private Limited (SFPL) and Kaushalya Foundation. HPS is an end-to-end renewable energy solution that provides pay-for-use electricity to villages by installing and operating 25-100kW ‘mini power plants’ there. The company has been operating for five years and has installed 90 power plants in West Champaran, East Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Siwan and Gopalganj districts. Targeting 5,000 villages in Bihar as feasible implementation sites, the company aims to tackle energy crisis in the state.
SFPL extends micro credit, without any physical collateral, to micro entrepreneurs for their income generation activities. With its seven branches, it serves over 33,000 clients across 5 districts in Bihar and plans to reach over 3 lakh clients by 2015. SFPL is the only non-banking financial company-micro finance institution (NBFC-MFI) to be based in the state.
Kaushalya Foundation is an integrated vegetable supply chain model that establishes direct linkage between farmers and vendors bypassing intermediaries that limit their income generation capabilities. The state government and its partners would help the winners in last mile delivery, field level logistics and implementation of their projects.
BIF (II) is bigger and better than BIF (I) which focused on innovations from within the state. Other dignitaries to be gracing the two-day event are Parmesh Shah, rural development specialist, World Bank, Onno Ruhl, country director, World Bank, Anil Sinha, regional head, International Finance Cooperation and Sam Pitroda, chairman, National Innovation Council, among others.