Indian Fund Aavishkaar Gets Global Recognition at the G-20 Summit in South Korea

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Nov 2010
Seoul, South Korea, November, 12 2010 - The Group of 20 and Ashoka's Changemakers, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, announced the winners of a cutting edge search for the best and most innovative proposals to catalyze finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) earlier this month.

These winners were recognized for their outstanding innovations by G-20 officials at the closing ceremony of the G-20 Summit in Seoul, South Korea today.  Among the 14 shortlisted winners is the India-based fund Aavishkaar, co-founded and represented by its Founder Mr. Vineet Rai. Aavishkaar is the only winning entry from India to make it to this global challenge in 2010.

Aavishkaar is a leading fund that supports micro equity investments to create scalable small entrepreneurs with significant social impact. Mr. Vineet Rai, who is in Seoul as a delegate at G-20 said, "This award has been a humbling experience for all of us at Aavishkaar.  The award has showcased the innovations coming out of India to the world and will hopefully help more enterprises and rural innovations from the region to get recognized in global fora. Aavishkaar is immensely grateful for all the support we have received from our supporters around the world."

The SME Finance Challenge Award ceremony was arranged on the sidelines of the G-20 Seoul Summit, and was attended by the U.S., Canadian, and Korean leaders. President Lee Myung-bak hosted the award ceremony at the COEX Auditorium after the G-20 Leaders' Meeting. U.S. President Barak Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also attended the ceremony.  President Lee, in his capacity as the current G-20 Chair, congratulated the 14 winners of the Challenge. President Obama and Prime Minister Harper also delivered their congratulatory speeches.

To scale up the winning proposals and to identify and support other innovative SME finance models, Korea, the U.S., Canada, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have agreed to launch an SME Finance Innovation Fund and committed a total of US $528 million to support the Fund.  Korea is expected to participate in the steering committee of the SME Finance Innovation Fund, through which Korea can gain more knowhow on diverse and innovative solutions to SME financing.

Since many innovative SME finance solutions have emerged from the private sector through the Challenge and the winning proposals will be scaled up with support from the SME Finance Innovation Fund, it is expected that the SME Finance Challenge and the award ceremony attended by three G20 Leaders will significantly contribute to mobilizing more international support for closer cooperation between the public and private sectors to increase flow of funds to SMEs.

Following the Summit, all of the Challenge winners will be connected with donors and investors at an SME conference in Cologne, Germany on November 15-16, 2010.



 

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