Social and Financial Impact – Sa-Dhan

Social and Financial Impact  

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Sa-Dhan’s mission is to advance an inclusive and sustainable society by actively championing initiatives that align with the majority of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enunciated by the United Nations as well as the flagship program Government of India. Recognizing India’s pivotal role in global SDG achievement, Sa-Dhan participates in endeavors aimed at eradicating poverty (SDG 1), Zero hunger (SDG 2), Good Health and well-being (SDG 3)  promoting quality education (SDG 4), achieving gender equality (SDG 5), ensuring clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), fostering affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), promoting decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), Sustainable Cities and Communities  (SDG 11), climate action (SDG 13), and strengthening partnerships for the goals (SDG 17).

Through strategic collaborations with governmental bodies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and diverse stakeholders, Sa-Dhan tackles the interconnected social and financial challenges faced by marginalized communities, especially women. By prioritizing initiatives like enhancing financial literacy, advocating for equitable social welfare policies, and bolstering capacity building efforts in governance and risk management, Sa-Dhan is committed to ensuring that no individual is left behind on India’s development trajectory. With an unwavering commitment to prioritizing people’s needs and fostering inclusivity, Sa-Dhan plays a pivotal role in propelling India’s advancement towards the SDGs, instilling optimism and confidence in a future marked by shared prosperity and sustainable development for all.

Financial Literacy

Sa-Dhan, with the support of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), spearheads the “Depositor Education and Awareness Fund (DEA Fund)” project aimed at bolstering financial literacy among marginalized communities. This initiative encompasses two primary objectives: raising awareness and enhancing financial literacy.  

Under the DEA scheme, Sa-Dhan successfully conducted 2,250 workshops reaching 1,40,881  beneficiaries, with the majority of them being women. These workshops, held across rural, semi-urban, and urban areas with the support of partnering institutions viz  Member Institutions spanning 19 states and 82 districts (combination of aspirational and non aspirational districts). The curriculum covered various facets of banking, including financial planning, grievance redressal, digital transactions, insurance, pension enrollment, and protection against fraudulent activities majorly in the government’s Social Security Schemes etc.

Enabling Digital Solutions to Overcome Digital Inclusion Barriers
Sa-Dhan, has undertaken the assignments to  ” Enabling Digital Solutions to Overcome Digital Inclusion Barriers ” It  aimed at empowering marginalized communities, particularly women from all geography, urban, semi urban and rural , by enhancing their digital proficiency for financial transactions. This initiative aligns with three Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations and encompasses three main objectives: advancing education, fostering gender equality and empowerment of women, and promoting rural development.

Since 2017, Sa-Dhan has implemented the programme in various states such as West Bengal, Gujarat, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Assam and so on. The major components of the programme is to educate and aware people about various avenues of digitization via organizing training sessions in multiple ways, phygital approach to adopt technology, demonstrative games, nukkad natak etc. Our interventions resulted in more than 2 million low-income women understanding the multiple digital channels to do digital transactions with safety. The momentum will continue as we have also trained approx 285 trainers of 6 partner MFIs on driving digital channel adoption hassle free to make it sustainable.

Water and Sanitation Financing

Sa-Dhan implemented the Water and Sanitation Financing programme in 7 states of India such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Rajasthan. Under the programme, we extended awareness among the community via workshops, training programmes, village campaigns on usage of Water, Sanitation and Hygienic facilities at the premises. Additionally, Sa-Dhan also strengthened the capacity of Microfinance Institutions to develop WASH products in the portfolio and extended the credit support to marginalized communities to have WASH facilities in the premises to live hygienic life. Moreover, Sa-Dhan was also instrumental in bringing Water and Sanitation in Priority Sector Lending to bring liquidity for the product. In this regard, Sa-Dhan always communicates with multiple financial institutions such as Banks, SFBs, NBFCs and other financial institutions to add WASH products in the portfolio to extend credit support to the Microfinance Institutions to take the agenda forward. We have worked closely with 34 MFIs which further provided a credit facility of ₹ 352 Cr. Impacting the life of 4.97lakh people.

The primary objective of the WCAD program is to enhance WASH infrastructure, elevate health and hygiene standards, and mitigate healthcare costs associated with water and sanitation-related illnesses. Through credit support totaling Rs. 77.71 crore, the program has directly benefited more than 20,000 individuals and indirectly impacted 80,000 more by providing WASH facilities in their households.

Additionally, to understand the various dynamics of climate on WASH financing, we also conducted a study. The study helped us to delve into multiple climate friendly and economical products which would be affordable and sustainable for the marginalized community.

Climate Study

Sa-Dhan,  is undertaking a comprehensive study to assess the resilience of the financial institutions and microfinance clients against climate risks and vulnerabilities. The study is divided into two phases:

First phase, emphasize on “Sustainable Finance Landscaping Survey” and second phase emphasize on “Measuring the resilience of Small & Marginal Farmers against the impacts of climate change”.     

Purpose of the first phase would be  to gather insights into the current state of sustainable finance in the sector . We define sustainable finance as loans and insurance products provided by the organization to its customers to drive the adoption of environmentally sustainable solutions such as renewable energy, electric vehicles, climate-smart agriculture practices, WASH loans, weather index-based insurance products, biogas plants, etc.

Expanding Access to Climate-Resilient Agricultural Technologies

We are extensively engaged in understanding the climate challenges and explore various solutions to mitigate the climate risk. To support underprivileged communities such as small and marginal farmers to mitigate such climate risk challenges, we are extensively working with MFIs to provide them with technologies for sustainable livelihood. Last year, as a pilot we incorporated two technologies with help of  MFI partners  namely Micro Irrigation and Bio Digrstor in the geographies of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Both the climate resilient technologies are well appreciated and adopted by  clients. Going forward, we are undertaking  such activities to support small and marginal farmers across various states in India, including Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, Bihar, Karnataka, or Maharashtra.

In the respective states, we are exploring 10 additional climate resilient technologies which will ensure sustainable livelihoods for farmers, enhance agricultural productivity,  and elevate the overall socioeconomic status  of  farmers by improving access to essential services like education, healthcare etc. In addition to that to support Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), we do liasioning with various financial institutions such as Public & Pvt. Banks, Small Finance Banks, NBFCs, Impact Investors to extend line of credit to the MFIs to bring liquidity for the domain.  

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs with WE-LEAD

Sa-Dhan is implementing the  “Women Entrepreneurship Livelihood Enhancement and Development (WE-LEAD)” initiative in the state of Guajat and Tamilnadu.  This initiative is dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs, with a vision to enhance their livelihood activities and elevate their standard of living. Over the course of 24 months, we will embark on a journey to support female entrepreneurs in these regions. Our approach begins with a comprehensive baseline survey to understand current activities and future commercial prospects. A robust training program, targeting 10,400 beneficiaries from both the states, with a special focus on SC/ST beneficiaries and upcoming entrepreneurs, will be the cornerstone of our efforts. Through diligent handhold support, we will ensure the effectiveness of our interventions, while also devising a replication strategy for potential expansion. Our commitment lies in fostering sustainable economic growth and empowerment for women entrepreneurs across the identified districts by providing trade based training, financial assistance, market linkages and  paving the way for a brighter future.

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs through Formal Financing in NRLM

Sa-Dhan undertook an initiative to implement a transformative project aimed at enabling formal financing to women-led enterprises in the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM). Through this initiative, we will provide Technical Assistance (TA) to Seven SRLMs starting the project with 4 SRLMs i.e. West Bengal, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and moving forward with other 3 in the upcoming phase, working at national, state, and district levels to enhance implementation architecture. Our focus will be on empowering women entrepreneurs by facilitating their transition from SHG-Bank linkages to Enterprise-Bank linkages, thereby opening doors to larger loans and formal sources of finance.

This project directly contributes to increasing women’s access to credit, ensuring steady cash flows and working capital for women-led enterprises. Our goal is to boost women’s incomes by 50%, diversify financial products and services, and enhance delivery channels for credit and enterprise financing. With an estimated 10 million mature women members in NRLM, possessing over two years of entrepreneurial and SHG experience, the demand for credit ranges from INR 75,000 to INR 0.5 million (USD 940 to USD 6,250), with many requiring loans exceeding ₹0.5 million.   

Sa-Dhan aims to mobilize approximately 1 million enterprise loan applications for women-led enterprises aligning them with the lakhpati didi, facilitating their access to formal financial service providers such as banks, Small Finance Banks (SFBs), and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).

Study on Women Owned Micro Business

Sa-Dhan is undertaking a comprehensive study focused on enhancing the resilience and financial well-being of women-owned micro-businesses (wMBs). This initiative seeks to delve into the unique challenges faced by female entrepreneurs operating in urban and peri-urban areas across six states in India Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, TamilNadu, Gujarat and Delhi NCR. Through a blend of quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews, the study aims to gain valuable insights into the specific dynamics, behaviors, and key success factors influencing the financial health of these enterprises.

With a targeted approach, the study aims to engage with more than 1400 women entrepreneurs who have been independently running businesses for 2-3 years, catering to diverse sectors and regions. By analyzing their experiences, aspirations, and challenges, the research endeavors to identify strategic interventions and support mechanisms that can bolster the resilience and sustainability of women-owned micro-businesses. By fostering a deeper understanding of the nuances within this segment, Sa-Dhan will  aspire to pave the way for tailored solutions that empower female entrepreneurs to thrive and contribute significantly to India’s economic landscape. Stay tuned for updates on this impactful study as it progresses towards its goal of driving positive change and empowerment within the micro-business ecosystem.

Glimpses of the Project Implementation

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State wise Project presence

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Registration

Early-bird Registration will start on 11th August 2023. This will ensure your confirmed participation.  All delegates will be provided a digital pass to attend the conference. The registration form can also be downloaded from the Sa-Dhan website. There is also a provision for spot registration at the conference venue.

Registration Fee Covers
  • Admission to the Conference Sessions
  • Lunch and refreshments during the Conference
  • Networking Platform
  • Conference Kit
  • Complimentary Copy of Bharat Microfinance Report – 2023
Registration fees can be paid through Demand Draft / Online Payment. International payments can only be made through wire transfer.
Please be noted that the fee doesn’t cover accommodation.
REFUND POLICY: Requests received in writing before 15th October 2023 will be considered for cancellation. A 10% handling charge would be deducted from the registration fee and the balance refunded by cheque. No amount will be refunded after. The registration form with the payment details should be sent to conference@sa-dhan.org