Business India ×
  Social Responsibility

Skill Development
Published on: Feb. 13, 2020, 3:18 p.m.
IDFC First Bank supports ‘livelihood development through entrepreneurship'
  • The support they needed

By Business India Editorial

fter years of financial struggle, Maya, a resident of Dombivli, in suburban Mumbai, decided to take matters into her own hands and sought a job in a beauty parlour. Two years later, she started a venture on her own. That is when she heard of IDFC First Bank’s livelihood development programme, run through NGO Pratham. Maya availed of a Rs30,000 package that allowed her to purchase advanced equipment, mirrors and shelves and a set of cosmetics and consumables. “I did not want to just earn money and run the household; I wanted to make something of myself and support my family,” she says.

IDFC First Bank supports ‘livelihood development through entrepreneurship’ under its CSR mission, in partnership with Pratham Vocational Training Institute. Its objective is to target women from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and help them to undertake entrepreneurship activities in beauty programmes as a livelihood opportunity. Loans provided through banks charged a high interest rate and many of them would not provide loan to women whose family income would not meet their requirement. Hence, many women, even after being capable, were left out and had to work under other people. To help such women who were unable to seek support from formal financial channels and needed mentorship support, the bank has set up a self-sustaining and revolving CSR fund, where the grant money is given as an interest-free loan to women entrepreneurs by the NGO Pratham.

Women like Maya who wished to start/scale up their beauty business were selected in a shortlist of 42 entrepreneurs out of 50-60 aspiring women. The short-listing was done through home visits, interviews, counselling sessions, documentation, and budget plan.

During home visits, co-ordinators checked their family background, experience in the field, their knowledge about the subject, the location they selected and their level of interest. Candidates were scored on these parameters. Since many lacked documents required to acquire a loan, they were helped by the co-ordinators to complete documentation.

These women prepared a budget plan stating the support they needed, how they would utilise the money, the services they would provide and at what rate, how they would 

market their services, the cost they would need to incur and the profit they could make.

Each woman beneficiary received funding support to purchase assets for her beauty parlour. Once her business was set up, she would start repaying this funding in instalments, depending on her capacity, to Pratham.

This amount was pooled back into a revolving fund that is used at the end of two years to support a new batch of women entrepreneurs.

Once selected, most of the women entrepreneurs demanded sizeable loans to set-up their micro-enterprises. The team faced issues convincing them to take low asset support but succeeded through constant counselling. However, Pratham helped them to calibrate their business plan and need.

Since these women were selected from various parts of each state, the local co-ordinators had difficulty in taking follow up and meeting each woman on a regular basis. These women were provided with a logbook to maintain all the expenses and income generated through the services and the local co-ordinators would meet them every 15 days.

Thus far, 42 women across four states have been supported to set up micro-enterprises. With half of all loans recovered, another lot of 16 women entrepreneurs will now be supported this financial year. Through this project, the women have made progress in their business as well as in their personalities. Pratham also observed increased confidence in women by expanding their business. Many have started making a profit and have put it to good use. They are also able to support their families financially. Additional assistance is provided through advance learning by the master trainer, books and skills to run a successful business.

Don't miss this


Infotech company KPIT works with MAGIC in Aurangabad

Published on Oct. 21, 2020, 4:37 p.m.

The Marathwada Accelerator for Growth and Incubation Council is partnering with KPIT Sparkle 2021 to support student innovators

Social Inclusion

CRI Pumps in Coimbatore has a host of socially responsible programmes

Published on Oct. 21, 2020, 4:37 p.m.

The company works with Coimbatore Corporation and leading NGOs to organise cleaning drives and awareness programmes


Ola provides 120,000 meals to drivers through The Akshaya Patra Foundation

Published on Oct. 15, 2020, 2:37 p.m.

The cab company’s Foundation has expanded its outreach to the community in 13 cities


Valliappa Foundation’s Anadhanam makes a start in solving global hunger

Published on Oct. 5, 2020, 1:02 p.m.

The Bengaluru-based group’s digital platform marks the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

Climate Change

Waste Management

GD Environmental sees an opportunity in medical waste

Published on Oct. 21, 2020, 5:34 p.m.

The company sees strong opportunities in fundamentally shifting the costs and process of waste management


India and Denmark to be at the forefront in the global fight against climate change

Published on Oct. 21, 2020, 5:33 p.m.

The prime ministers of the two countries agree to elevate India-Denmark relations to a Green Strategic Partnership


Renewables leader Rajasthan will see a dramatic shift in its generation composition

Published on Oct. 15, 2020, 2:22 p.m.

Solar and onshore wind power will meet most of the incremental electricity demand by 2029-30


Energy storage leaders call for policy measures to create Atmanirbhar Bharat

Published on Oct. 8, 2020, 11:48 a.m.

Global thought leaders and policymakers discussed the issue to mark World Energy Storage Day recently