Supporting Solutions that Scale Impact
Invitation to Submit your Proposals for the Development Marketplace Grant Award

The Call for Proposals will be open until March 10, 2014

The World Bank Group’s Development Marketplace (DM) Program is designed to surface and support scalable, non-state solutions to the most pressing social, environmental and economic problems across the developing world. These solutions should increase access and affordability of life enhancing products and services for poor and marginalized people. To leverage the knowledge, skills and mobilization capacity of social enterprises, the DM has awarded more than US$65 million in grants to more than 1,200 innovative social enterprises identified through country, regional, and global competitions since 1998.

In India, social enterprises are increasingly playing an important role in supporting the country’s agenda to provide high impact and well-targeted access to public goods and services to the poor in a cost efficient manner. In delivering these services, social enterprises are experimenting with a range of business models implemented through nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid structures. While there are inspiring examples of success, for the most part, these organizations are still coping with challenges and constraints in constructing and implementing financially sustainable, operationally efficient pathways to scale.

The 2014 India DM Competition will support innovative business models of service delivery to the poor in Assam, Meghalaya, and Mizoram. The competition’s objective is to identify solutions with clear evidence of social impact that have potential to be scaled, replicated or mainstreamed with impact investors, government schemes and/or corporate social responsibility programs.

During the grant period, the DM India provides support to strengthen the viability and sustainability of the selected business models through targeted capacity development activities, analytical work, evaluation of results, dissemination of lessons of experience and peer learning, and dialogue with investors and government.

The 2011 and 2013 India DM programs were implemented in partnership with IFC’s Inclusive Business group, and focused on the low-income States of Bihar, Odisha, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. This program surfaced more than 450 proposals from a range of non-state providers keen to scale and replicate their projects in the targeted states. Over the past three years, the DM has granted more than US$3 million to 34 projects. The DM also supports these organizations over an 18 month period through targeted technical advisory support and the creation of a network of local partners.

The program seeks to fund approximately 10 competitively selected organizations with grant funding of up to US$150,000 each to scale up or adapt existing service delivery models that can address local basic service delivery challenges at scale.

Basic services are defined as: (i) services that meet basic needs (health, nutrition, education, water, sanitation, housing and energy); and (ii) key enabling services (financial services, transportation and ICT) that facilitate access to basic services.

As part of the DM support, each selected Grantee will receive:

  • Customized capacity building and technical advisory support to be financed from the DM grant resources (up to US$25,000 of the allocated grants). This TA will be delivered through a group of strong local partners over a 24 month period.
  • Support for operational and financial development and facilitated engagement with local partners to increase the effectiveness and scale of their business models.
  • Peer learning and capacity building opportunities through periodic convenings over the grant duration to facilitate an active exchange of learning and foster strategic peer collaborations.


  • All Indian-registered nonprofit and for-profit organizations with innovative models of basic or enabling service delivery to the poor; organizations led by women are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Only proposals targeting the states of Assam, Mizoram and Meghalaya will be considered. The applying organizations must demonstrate a track record of successful project implementation and an ability to replicate their models.
  • Models submitted for DM2014 competition should be operational for at least two years and be able to demonstrate a track record of successful project implementation. Models operational for two years in any other State and proposing to replicate or scale in Assam, Mizoram and Meghalaya are also invited to apply.

Proposals will undergo a thorough assessment and selection process involving development experts from the World Bank Group and recognized sectoral experts including non-state providers, investors, donors and the greater development and social enterprise community across India and the world. All proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Impact on the poor: Does the proposal clearly identify the targeted beneficiaries and articulate what will change for them? Is there a clear connection between the stated objectives and the proposed impact on the lives of the targeted marginalized population?
  • Demonstrated results: Has the business model been operational for at least two years? Is the provider able to demonstrate a track record of successful project implementation?
  • Operational readiness: Is the implementation time frame and budget realistic? Does the organization have the capacity needed to implement the project?
  • Potential for growth and large scale impact: Is there potential for expansion? How will DM grant participation help the provider achieve large scale impact beyond the grant period? Can the project be replicated elsewhere?
  • Financial sustainability: How will the organization use the DM grant to build a pathway for financial self-sufficiency? Does the project have the potential to be financially sustainable beyond DM funding?
  • Business model innovation: How does the proposed approach represent a novel solution for solving critical challenges in the target states?

Proposals can be submitted online at 2014.dm-india.com and will be accepted until 11.30pm IST on March 10, 2014. Proposals submitted through any other channel will not be considered.

More details and the application form are accessible at: 2014.dm-india.com For queries please contact competition the DM Program Management team via email: info@dm-india.com Follow us on Twitter @WorldbankDM

Case Studies


Envisaged as a bridge between artisans and consumers, Rangsutra works with small producer groups based in remote villages and towns in around 9 locations across the Indian states of Rajasthan, Uttaranchal and Assam. It strengthens economic security in vulnerable communities by empowering members to create top quality hand made products which are then sourced and marketed to urban consumers through leading retailers.

read more

BY MARCH 10, 2014

Apply for grants of up to US$150,000 to scale up or adapt existing service delivery models. Selected organizations will benefit from technical advisory support, peer networking and learning opportunities.

For more details, click here

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