In India, livelihood programmes are beginning to be more sustainable in their approach as they work towards poverty reduction. This change is complemented by new types of investors interested in funding livelihood initiatives.

While a large part of funding continues through the traditional public system (central, state, district and local governments, bilateral and multilateral donors, and civil society), increasingly, businesses are entering the sustainable livelihoods funding arena through their sustainability initiatives, supply chain investments, CSRs, and by channelling their monies through philanthropic individuals, family foundations, impact investors, and intermediaries.

This new crop of social investors play an important role, and each investor group has different expectations related to risk, return, and impact.   To better understand each of these investor groups, AVPN, in partnership with Catalyst Foundation released a report that focuses on understanding funder preferences in the livelihood space across programmatic areas, occupations, and communities, and the rationale driving these decisions.

In this report, four groups of investors have been looked at, namely, corporate firms (funding directly through CSR initiatives or channeling funds through their foundations), private and individual foundations, impact investors, and intermediaries.

Below are some highlights from their findings:

Programme strategies and approaches supported: 

  •  Skilling, capacity development, and service delivery receive the primary attention
  •  Integrated solutions are the preferred area of investment
  • Market-based models and innovations have begun attracting some investment
  • There is little interest in supporting rights-based work
  • Small organisational development and innovations are finding a way into the agenda

Read the full article about investing in sustainable livelihoods at India Development Review.