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Powering Livelihoods to provide ₹1 cr to 6 firms working on clean energy-based livelihoods solutions

Powering Livelihoods, an initiative by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and Villgro Innovations Foundation, has announced it was providing a cumulative emergency funding of ₹1 crore to six Indian enterprises working on clean energy-based livelihoods solutions.

Their names have not been shared as due diligence is still on.

The fund will help these enterprises to strengthen their resilience and tide over the current crises caused by COVID-19.

It is a non refundable financial grant to the firms to tide over the current crisis and continue manufacturing, said a person associated with the initiative.

The six firms currently manufacture a variety of solar-powered livelihood solutions from water pumps and multi-purpose food processors to commercial refrigerators to reeling, spinning and weaving machinery in the textile sector.

Abhishek Jain, research fellow, CEEW, said, “As India charts its recovery from the pandemic, transforming our rural economy into centres of jobs, growth, and sustainability is essential. Scaling up clean energy innovations for livelihoods would not only help overcome erratic electricity supply but would also improve productivity, product value, and incomes in rural areas.”

“Due to COVID-19, many small and medium enterprises making such innovations are struggling with daily cash flows and most of them do not have access to credit facilities.

Powering Livelihoods stays committed to the idea of creating an Aatma Nirbhar Bharat by supporting these enterprises during these challenging times,” he said.

CEEW said that several other companies powered by distributed renewable energy contributed to India’s response to tackling the pandemic.

“Kasturba, a clean energy-powered textile enterprise based in Amravati, Maharashtra, manufactured and supplied over 10,000 reusable cotton masks using solar charkhas and looms to the district collectorate and other local government departments,” it said.

“Similarly, Greenwear, a sustainable textile manufacturer in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, supplied over 4,00,000 reusable cotton masks to corporates and local government departments in the city,” it added.

Ananth Aravamundan, energy sector lead, Villgro, said, “Over the last few weeks, the Powering Livelihoods initiative has adapted to respond to the evolving reality around us. In addition to the emergency support, we are innovating new ways to conduct enterprises' needs assessment, provide incubation support, as well as continue sectoral engagements in a travel-restricted world.”

“We are also bringing together eminent financiers and investors to enable a funding continuum for the sector. Organisations such as Caspian Debt, Beyond Capital Fund, and Upaya Social Ventures are already on board in an advisory capacity,” he said.

Powering Livelihoods, an over ₹20 crore initiative, aims to provide capital, technical, and sectoral growth support to social enterprises deploying clean energy-powered livelihood appliances in rural India.

The initiative will help them build resilience, find new markets, undertake large-scale commercial deployments, and generate more rural jobs.

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 4:51:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/powering-livelihoods-to-provide-1-cr-to-6-firms-working-on-clean-energy-based-livelihoods-solutions/article31917010.ece

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