The Citi Foundation’s third edition of its India Innovation Grant Program (IIGP) this year aims to identify leading programs that will help young people, aged between 16-25 years old, build an entrepreneurial mindset, acquire leadership, financial and workplace skills, and begin to engage in the formal economy through a first job.
Through the 2016 IIGP, up to INR130 million will be available in grant funding to NGOs working in the area of youth economic opportunities across India.
The 2016 IIGP is part of Pathways to Progress, Citi Foundation’s global initiative to prepare young people with the career readiness tools and opportunities needed to thrive in today’s economy.Pathways to Progress is comprised of programs, research, and partnerships that help youth build an entrepreneurial mindset, acquire leadership, financial and workplace skills, and begin to engage in the formal economy through a first job.
The Citi Foundation’s India Innovation Grant Program, a first-of-its- kind initiative in India, was launched in 2014 to encourage non- governmental organizations (NGOs) to develop innovative and sustainable financial education and inclusion models. The program is supportive of India’s national agenda to spur financial inclusion by instilling the habit of savings amongst low income populations.
Now in its third year, this year’s program will expand to focus on yet another national agenda, which is the skilling of youth across the country, to prepare them for and connect them with economic opportunities, which in turn, will propel economic progress and inclusion in India.
Citi India Chief Executive Officer Pramit Jhaveri said, “Citi India is extremely proud of the impact and reach of the India Innovation Grant Program through its earlier editions. This year, in alignment with the Government of India’s ‘Skill India’ initiative, which aims to train 400 million youth by 2022, the India Innovation Grant Program seeks to address the creation of economic opportunities for youth in the country.
“With more than 50% of our population under the age of 25 years, attempting to skill and train India’s youth is
a massive opportunity. The need is for programs that are innovative in approach, yet scalable in impact, so that they will act to augment the efforts of the government,’ said Mr Jhaveri.
The Citi Foundation’s 2016 IIGP will award grants to NGOs in India that employ innovative approaches to create sustainable and long term opportunities for livelihoods for young people in low income communities across the country.
Of particular interest are programs that:
· Prepare young people for and connect them to economic opportunities, including but not limited to:
– Entrepreneurship training
– Employment access
– Leadership, financial and workplace skill development
· Focus on urban low-income youth
· Use technology and innovative approaches to expand delivery and lower the costs of serving more low income young people
· Focus on sustainable, scalable models with measurable impact
· Engage stakeholders to promote the adoption of new national approaches
In its previous edition, the 2015 India Innovation Grant Program invested INR 130 million (USD2 million) in eight innovative and sustainable financial education and capability programs aimed to benefit more than 300,000 individuals in the country through non-profit organizations including American India Foundation Trust, Grameen Foundation, Kalighat Society for Development Facilitation, MelJol, Navya Disha, Swadhaar FinAccess, Anudip Foundation for Social Welfare and Pratham Education Foundation.
In India, the Citi Foundation’s overall grant program is focused on addressing the socio-economic challenges with innovative and strategic grants, which will help enhance and facilitate financial inclusion, promote responsible financial behavior via increased financial literacy and create new income-generating opportunities in low income communities. Since 1999, the Citi Foundation has supported more than 35 non- profit organizations, benefiting an estimated 2.5 million individuals across India.
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