ABOUT THE PROGRAMME

About Millennium Alliance

An Innovation Partnership for Global Development

The MA is an inclusive platform to leverage Indian creativity, expertise, and resources to identify and scale innovative solutions being developed and tested in India to address development challenges that will benefit base of the pyramid populations across India and the world. The MA is a network to bring together various actors within India’s social innovation ecosystem including, but not limited to, social innovators, philanthropy organizations, social venture capitalists, angel investors, donors, service providers, and corporate foundations, to stimulate and facilitate financial contributions from the private and public sectors and offer a range of support to innovators.

Under FICCI’s leadership and in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Technology Development Board (TDB), and other MA partners, the Alliance will provide innovators with services such as seed funding, grants, incubation and accelerator services, networking opportunities, business support services, knowledge exchange, and technical assistance, and will facilitate access to equity, debt, and other capital. Through the Millennium Alliance, USAID, FICCI, TDB, and other partners, will help realize India’s role as a global innovation laboratory.

Our Team

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Background

Despite their hardships, the Indian citizens have been fairly innovative and have, since times immemorial, been contributing to the areas of science and technology, though mostly in an informal manner. The country has numerous examples where local agriculturists have developed innovative farming apparatuses, illiterate mechanics have developed better performing mechanical tools, and students have come up with incremental and efficient innovations. It is beyond doubt that through their innovations and with their respective limited means, these innovators have tried to bridge the gap between demand and supply and through that the one between the rich and the deprived.

There is no dearth of Innovations happening at grass root level and these are the ones affecting the people at the Bottom of the Pyramid, but many a times the benefits of such Innovations do not percolate down their target customer segment. And that is one of the primary reasons behind the widening disparity between the rich and the poor in India.

Entrepreneurship and particularly those happening at a local level act as a great leveler in bringing the Innovations closer to the masses and ensuring an inclusive growth of the society, and herein lies the role of Innovation & Entrepreneurship as the twin engines driving the sustainable and inclusive economic growth model.

The need of the hour, as was rightly pointed out by the Management expert, Late C K Prahlad, is to focus on the Bottom of the Pyramid and find opportunities there, not only from a marketing perspective but also from the perspective of uplifting citizens from that level and bringing them to the mainstream. Entrepreneurship that brings Innovative Products to the market is the best bet to achieve this aim.

Objectives

Provide a platform to leverage Indian creativity, expertise and resources to:

  • Identify game changing innovations
  • The Alliance intends to identify breakthrough innovations that address long felt developmental issues in a more effective and/or economical manner.
  • Rigorously test promising solutions
  • The Alliance encourages innovators to rigorously test and evaluate their innovative solutions and select those that have the maximum developmental impact in a cost efficient and effective manner.
  • Scale innovations that work
  • The Alliance aims to support innovations with wider societal appeal and help scale it to a level that it reaches and affects the needy population.

MA Partners

Technology Development Board

The Government of India constituted the Technology Development Board (TDB) in September 1996, as per the provisions...

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FICCI

FICCI is the rallying point for free enterprises in India. It has empowered Indian businesses, in the changing times, to shore up their competitiveness...

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USAID

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the independent U.S. agency that provides economic, development, and humanitarian assistance...

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ICCO Cooperation

The mission of ICCO Cooperation is to contribute to poverty alleviation and social justice in communities and countries where it can have an impact and make a difference...

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ICICI Foundation

ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth was founded by ICICI Group to empower low-income Indians to participate in and benefit from India’s growth...

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UK AID

For several decades, Government of UK’s Department for International Development has been actively working with the Government of India to help India achieve...

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WISH

WISH innovates the healthcare ecosystem and redefines the service delivery paradigm to meet BoP needs prioritized by the government...

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World Bank

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) lends to governments of middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries...

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Letter From The Director

In 1931, while addressing FICCI’s 4th Annual General Meeting, Mahatma Gandhi emphasized that members of the industry should regard themselves as “trustees & servants of the poor…” Since then, FICCI has constantly striven to follow the path shown by the Mahatma. With Millennium Alliance (MA), we hope to take another bold step towards solving some of India’s most complex problems. We are glad to be joined by a number of public and private sector partners whose resources and commitment are central to the success of MA.

Our aim is to identify and nurture Indian entrepreneurs who are committed to challenging the established paradigm and to developing effective solutions to pressing development problems. In just four years of operation, MA has heard from hundreds of entrepreneurs from every corner of the country. It is heartening to see the single-minded devotion of these entrepreneurs to making India a better place for all of its citizens. This demonstration of interest confirms for us at Millennium Alliance that our approach of supporting innovators is one of the utmost urgency. As our program grows, we aim to expand our engagement with entrepreneurs directly to maximize our contribution to the development of the nation and beyond.

This website is designed to help you understand the nature of our work, how you can benefit from engagement with MA, and how you can support us. It contains detailed information regarding our values and vision, application process, current awardees, and our partners. We hope that you find it instructive and will join us in our mission to improve the lives of millions of our fellow citizens.

Please feel free to contact MA with questions.

Sincerely,
Nirankar Saxena,
Senior Director, FICCI

Speeches & Statement