The World Bank announced the launch of 2013 India Development Marketplace and pledged $1 million in grants to be awarded to 15-20 social enterprises for their development solutions The programme is limited to MP, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, the bank said in a statement here.

“The programme is a unique platform for innovative social enterprises to scale up development solutions in low income states,” World Bank Country Director in India Onno Ruhl said.

The Development Marketplace initiative is a competitive grant-based programme which focuses on both non-profit and for-profit business models that provide innovative solutions to address social and economic problems impacting the poor and the under-served, the Bank said.

The selected winners are given financial and advisory support. Each winning organisation will receive a grant ranging from $50,000-100,000, as well as mentoring and capacity-building support over 15 months.

The Bank will also help the winners identify local partners who will guide them in business planning, financial management and organisational development.

Ruhl said, in the past the programme has supported organisations like Rangsutra, which provides livelihood opportunities to rural artisans in Rajasthan and has now expanded its reach to over 1,000 artisans.

It has also supported Bihar Development Trust that was instrumental in raising incomes of certain communities by almost 100 per cent.

“This year too, we hope to support unique and innovative solutions that address some of the most pressing needs of under-served communities, especially women in this country,” Ruhl said.

Over the past decade, the World Bank Development Marketplace has supported many social enterprises, including Goonj, engaged in waste resource management, Drishtee, which offers rural kiosks for public services; and Gram Vikas project that encourages biogas electricity for tribal communities in Odisha.

For full details of the India Development Market process click here.