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Four women in India making food together
Story: COVID-19 India

Samhita’s REVIVE Provides Financial Support to Workers in India

COVID-19 Project Overview

India’s economic growth stalled with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to job loss for more than 122 million people in April 2020. This decline in opportunities has affected under-resourced communities the most, including unskilled workers, semi-skilled workers, and micro-entrepreneurs.

To provide these communities with financial support, Samhita and the Collective Good Foundation launched a blended finance organization called REVIVE in partnership with USAID and Omidyar Network India. REVIVE provides zero-interest loans and support to people in need, with preference given to self-employed women and youth. With an initial commitment of $3.5 million (INR 25 crore), the fund is expected to grow to $13.7 million (INR 100 crore) as more partners join the initiative.

How It Helps

REVIVE provides financial assistance in the form of standard, returnable grants. A returnable grant is the first of its kind — it is funding that comes with zero interest for the beneficiary. It is structured so that repayment only begins once the individual is earning an income and is financially stable. The money is then used to fund another individual in need, and so on.

REVIVE also helps individuals apply for government financial support programs and offers training, employment opportunities, and capacity building resources to beneficiaries to strengthen their businesses. From textile workers to street vendors to artisans, REVIVE is expected to impact more than 100,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises as well as self-employed and previously employed workers.

Access to a zero-interest loan for small business owners is a blessing and will enable us to achieve our dreams.

Sajitha Rani, Beauty Entrepreneur

Lasting Impact Sparked by REVIVE

REVIVE is engaging corporate partners across India who strive to improve the lives of unskilled workers, semi-skilled workers, and micro-entrepreneurs. The pandemic has greatly affected people who are under-resourced, pushing companies to rethink their business strategies so they can provide adequate support.

When the second wave of COVID-19 surfaced in April 2021, healthcare became the greatest need to address. The REVIVE team is modifying their approach to meet these immediate needs by:

  • Adding a two-month moratorium on repayment of the grant and reducing the monthly payback amount
  • Providing a second returnable grant to help in the recovery of businesses after the second wave of COVID-19
  • Providing other forms of support, including health insurance and vaccinations

By stepping in with essential financial support and other resources during the pandemic, REVIVE is helping to ensure workers and micro-entrepreneurs can make it through this crisis and build greater financial stability for the future.