ST currently supports 150 technology business incubators with over 4000 technology startups within these incubators across the country, bringing in lots of bright ideas and plans to scale up these numbers. Millennium Alliance, along with the other partner organisations like USAID, FICCI, DFID have been strong partners in that journey.
Millennium Alliance (MA)
The MA is a consortium of partners (Public-Private Partnership) including the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), Facebook and Marico Innovation Foundation. The program is currently running in its sixth year and has played a catalytic role in providing funding, capacity building and business development support to Indian social enterprises.
Under the MA program, innovators will be provided with services such as seed funding, grants, incubation, networking opportunities, business support, knowledge exchange and technical assistance which will facilitate further access to equity, debt, and other capital to the innovators. It is an inclusive platform to leverage Indian creativity, expertise, and resources to identify and scale innovative solutions being developed and tested in India to address development challenges that will benefit the base of the pyramid populations across India and the world. The MA is a network to bring together various actors within India’s social innovation ecosystem including social innovators, philanthropy organizations, social venture capitalists, angel investors, donors, service providers and corporate foundations to stimulate and facilitate financial and other support to the innovators.
The Millennium Alliance Round 6 & COVID19 Innovation Challenge, which recognized 49 innovative solutions in 5 focus sectors of India, highlighted the necessity of building a highly distributed innovation ecosystem. The MA illustrates the way in which all the partners have transferred together expertise in education, health, clean energy, water & sanitation, agriculture sectors and local innovations to countries in Africa and South Asia. It illustrates how things designed in India through this partnership have a global impact. The MA responded to the urgent need of COVID-19 innovations by launching a focused call to provide funding to support Indian startups whose technologies could be quickly deployed to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. More than 400 innovators applied for the call within a span of three weeks.
Achievements under the MA initiative:
- MA platform has supported 124 social innovation projects
- The projects supported under the program have impacted 7 million lives across 12 low-income countries.
- The platform has been able to create 150000 direct and indirect jobs.
- 22 Indian social enterprises are replicating and scaling their innovations in 12 countries in Africa and South Asia namely Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Nepal.
- The enterprises supported by MA have been able to leverage 2.5 times funds from external sources because of their association with the platform and the impact they generated through support received from the platform.