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Upaya, Artha Initiative to Co-Invest, Expand Management Resources Available to Job Creating Small and Growing Businesses in India

Zurich, Switzerland & Seattle, Washington, 19 NOVEMBER 2014 -- Upaya Social Ventures and the Artha Initiative are proud to announce that they have formalized a collaboration through which they will work together to develop a pipeline of and co-invest in India’s Small and Growing Business (SGB) sector.
Together the two organizations will deploy seed capital to help these SGBs scale and create employment for the poor, share best practices around sound financial management, and disseminate tools and training for the benefit of India's wider SGB ecosystem.

“In order to promote entrepreneurship in India, the barriers to financial management skill development must be addressed and be paired with improved access to patient investment capital that best meets the entrepreneurs’ needs,” said Artha Initiative Director Audrey Selian. “This partnership does exactly that by improving the access to management resources and seed capital for the next great wave of Indian entrepreneurs,” said Selian.
 
Upaya and Artha have each found that when early stage entrepreneurs receive seed funding and have the resources to master basic financial management practices, their confidence greatly improves and they are far more likely to see a new venture through its tumultuous first year. By equipping entrepreneurs with financial management tools and a roadmap for their use, they have been able to reduce the risk and uncertainty inherent in a new venture and, in turn, attract follow-on debt and equity investment needed to grow the business.
 
Through this collaboration Upaya will share its tools and training materials for dissemination across Artha’s platforms and networks.
 
“Although a number of tools are already available, the uptake by entrepreneurs currently is minimal as most tools are geared towards later stage businesses,” said Upaya’s Executive Director Sachi Shenoy. “Entrepreneurs find the more general templates difficult to adapt to their specific business models,” said Shenoy.
 
In addition to sharing materials and best practices among the two organizations, Upaya will explore co-investments in job creating businesses that participate in the Artha Venture Challenge. Furthermore, Upaya will leverage the Artha Platform, an online community and website dedicated to building relationships between sector participants, to expand the pool of resources available to its partners as they continue to scale.
 
This is the second co-investment and tool-sharing partnership of its type for Upaya, following an announcement earlier this year of a similar collaboration with 3rd Creek Foundation. 


About Rianta Capital’s Artha Initiative: The Artha Initiative is focused on impact investment in social enterprise in India, with a concentration on the agriculture, livelihoods and small-scale renewable energy sectors. This program is committed to principles of sustainability in the impact created by motivated entrepreneurs seeking to create appropriate products and services for the BoP. Rianta Capital Zurich is an investment advisory based in Zurich that provides advice and management support to the trusts and investment companies associated with the Principal Family. 

For Additional Information, Please Contact:
Audrey Selian
audrey.selian@riantacapital.ch  


About Upaya Social Ventures: Upaya Social Ventures (also referred to as “Upaya”) is building businesses that create jobs and improve the quality of life for the “ultra poor.” We do this by providing seed funding and business development support to promising entrepreneurs that can create hundreds of jobs in India’s most impoverished communities. As these small businesses grow, they will generate sustainable, well-paying jobs for families living in extreme poverty. As of August 2014, this work has resulted in six financially healthy, scalable businesses that have created over 1,100 jobs in local communities.

For Additional Information, Please Contact:
Steve Schwartz
sschwartz@upayasv.org