Early Stage launched after 1st May 2016, Winners 2016

| Innovative services | security | finance | marketing

1. VidyaSaarathi – Higher Education Funding Platform

ORGANISATION: Billion Lives      COUNTRY: India          URL: http://www.billionlives.in/

LANGUAGE: English       EMAIL: aruna@billionlives.in

A Platform for “Funding it Right

Vidyasaarathi is a technology-enabled initiative of the National Securities Depository Limited e-Governance Infrastructure Limited (NSDL e-Gov) to bridge the gap in education finance. It is a platform built to bring about a shift in the education funding scenario in the country, which is currently driven by parents’ support, bank loans and in some cases scholarships. Vidyasaarathi comes to the rescue of students and allows them to search and apply for various education finance schemes that are available in the country for higher education.

The platform seeks to encourage larger community and corporate participation in the education sector by acting as a bridge that connects fund providers with fund seekers by leveraging the ‘Fund Right’ technology solution. Under Vidyasaarathi, corporate fund providers can design and manage customised higher education finance schemes on the platform, and disburse their CSR funds for the education sector.

The platform, on the other hand, creates scholarship solutions, loan interest scholarships and interest guarantee schemes using pre-set templates. Further, it defines the criteria for auto selection of applicants and sets up funds and committees for processing and awarding of the applications. Once selected, awarded students’ funds are disbursed to the education institution directly, as per the payment schedule defined at the time of admissions by the institute’s guidelines.

Fund providers, education institutes, associates, trusts and student communities are key stakeholders in this ecosystem. Through its engagement will all the stakeholders, the solution helps manage the entire online education finance application lifecycle — from submission and review of an application to awarding of scholarship and disbursement of funds.

To take this initiative further, ensure its large-scale developmenet and countrywide implementation, NSDL e-Gov has even partnered with Billion Lives Business Initiatives. When expanded to its right strength, millions of students will be able to find timely education finance through Vidyasaarathi’s easy-to-use platform tool and, eventually, app.

2. Tisser Mobile App for artisan to upload products directly to Tisser B2B portal

ORGANISATION: Tisser Rural Handicrafts Private Limited

URL: http://tisserindia.com/    COUNTRY: India   LANGUAGE: English

EMAIL: contact@tisserindia.com

A portal showcasing Indias rich weaving culture across the Globe

Sticking to the idea of Incredible India, Tisser (which means ‘to weave’ in French) supports traditional weavers, craftsmen and artisans to ensure their mesmerising products reach a global customer base.

With the intention to recognise the efforts of thousands of largely unknown artisans who tireless work every day to produce beautiful items that adorn our houses and wardrobes, Tisser provides India’s artisans a digital platform to directly connect with potential customers across the globe.

Socially, craftspeople and artisans come from some of the most disadvantaged communities, with very little opportunities for self-development and growth. They often come together to form self-help groups in the hope that they will have better access to finance and markets but not all self-help groups are successful. Tisser was, thus, launched with the realisation that the loom and craft industry of India remains not only a bulwark of our historical legacy but also has the capability to transform into an enterprising fortune for artisans and support the country’s trade and commerce in a greater manner. Tisser thinks that the fact that artisans and craftspeople have still managed to retain their traditional skills and knowledge is a miracle, given the fast-changing trends in the urban market. And so it is striving today to ensure that this skill and talent is not lost tomorrow simply due to the gap between the producers and the consumers.

Today, with a pan-India vision, Tisser is working with artisans and weavers in different clusters of 12 Indian states to source products that are traditionally made, naturally crafted, skillfully designed, contemporary and affordable. At present, Tisser has a network of 15,000 artisans with whom it works closely to share inputs in design, quality and control.

Products available on the platform — and there are more than 300 products listed on the website — can be broadly classified into four segments: clothing, artifacts, accessories and corporate gifts; and Tisser caters to both the retail and the wholesale sectors. Its user-friendly Website and Android application allow artisans to post their products online and fix a price. The website also gives customers a glimpse into several impact stories, besides giving them an opportunity to connect with the artisans.

Further, Tisser has established an artisan trust, where the founders’ shares go for girl child education and betterment in artisan clusters. The trust now plans to engage in artisans’ skill building and cluster tourism through CSR.