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Wadhwani Foundation earmarks ₹200 crore to help distressed SMEs

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on July 07, 2020 Published on July 07, 2020

The Wadhwani Foundation (WF) has earmarked ₹200 crore to help distressed SMEs affected by the economic crisis and to help public health workers improve their Covid-related knowledge and skills.

The Wadhwani Foundation, a non-profit foundation, has roped in a large team of consultants, many of whom are dedicated Wadhwani Foundation team members, to implement this initiative. WF is also building an ecosystem of partners, including government ministries and agencies, banks, and consulting firms, to help operationalise this initiative.

The Wadhwani Foundation is doubling the efforts because of the pandemic to support 4,000 companies through its digital product. It has signed on partners such as KPMG, Deloitte and a few banks. The foundation’s target is to support 10,000 companies.

“The Covid crisis that has hit will last at least for 2 to 3 years. The impact on some businesses is permanent. When the initiative was started in January the focus was on identifying SMEs who have growth potentials. At present, the shift is to help them survive, stabilise and pick the ones to grow and support them,” Ajay Kela, President and CEO of Wadhwani Foundation, told BusinessLine.

The foundation will continue to invest pro bono and with the help of consultants, it will offer digitised solutions to the SMEs. The new fund will give add on credit to those companies that come out of the survival and stability phase and are ready for growth. The amount of money that will be given to these units will range from ₹50 lakh to ₹1 crore and when they enter the growth phase, the amount will be increased to ₹15 crore depending on the sector they operate, Kela said.

The foundation will focus more on the health sector. It will also train half a million to one million healthcare workers on how to deal with Covid. This comprises Asha workers to Anganwadi workers to nurses.

Three programmes

The Wadhwani Foundation Sahayata Initiative consists of three programmes: the Sahayata Business Stability program, the Sahayata COVID-19, Skilling program, and the Sahayata Public Health Innovation program. The Sahayata Business Stability program will provide up to 10,000 SMEs with transformational business consulting at a highly subsidised rate, equipping them with the expertise necessary to survive, stabilise, and grow in the face of these challenges.

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Published on July 07, 2020
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