India is faced with the challenge of improving quality of life of hundreds of millions of its inhabitants whose basic needs, including access to clean water and to energy, are not met. At the same time, it already suffers the consequences of natural resource scarcity and the negative impacts of unsustainable economic growth, including environmental degradation and climate change. As economic growth is of vital importance to reduce poverty and achieve higher quality of life especially in developing and emerging countries, India urgently needs to find sustainable solutions to its societal and economic challenges.
Thus the development of products and business models that require less energy, water or natural resources or improve access to basic services is a priority. But financing options for these innovative business models is often inadequate in India - on the one hand, financial products are not catering to the needs of innovative enterprises, and on the other hand, banks and investors often lack the technical expertise to identify promising business models.
To fill this gap, the German development bank KfW makes a credit line of 53 million Euros available to the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). This enables SIDBI to create financing opportunities specifically for innovative start-ups and enterprises. adelphi has been supporting this programme since March 2013.
The development of criteria for distinguishing innovative and therefore eligible concepts plays an important part of the programme. A crucial aspect for the assessment is also the technical feasibility which will be analysed where necessary by Indian and international experts. To inform the target group about the new financing opportunities, promotional events are held throughout the country. The credit line thereby enables existing SMEs and start-ups to implement the innovative and resource-efficient business models India so urgently needs.