The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is dedicated to transforming the lives of children living in urban poverty. In India, the foundation has committed nearly INR 15 billion to its core programs in education, jobs and livelihoods, and financial services.
How we work
Our goal is to achieve measurable and positive impact on the lives of children and their families living in urban poverty, while at the same time catalysing systemic change. The foundation deploys a range of tools, from traditional philanthropic grants to mission-driven impact investments. Three key objectives drive the foundation’s resource deployment.
By 2018, the Dell Foundation committed nearly INR 15 billion toward efforts to drive measurable social progress for Indian children. In 2018, the foundation served more than 12 million children and families through programs funded across India. Through multiple investment instruments such as equity, debt, and guarantees, we support a variety of impact-driven companies. So far, we have successfully exited nine investments by generating follow-on support.
Our impact investments at a glance
~$ 100 M
committed since 2006
active portfolio companies
$ 20 M
committed to seven seed funds
The India education portfolio focuses on helping underserved students improve academic performance and get access to quality education. With a sharp focus on impacting learning outcomes measured through standard assessments, the work includes:
- Public school systemic reforms in partnership with state governments to revamp the school education system.
- Incubation and growth of innovative service providers focused on quality of education across the academic ladder: K-12 to college education.
- Ed-tech: ConveGenius, Onlinetyari, Avanti Learning Centres, Edutel, ClassKlap
- School leadership: Kaivalya, Indian School Leadership Institute
- Seed funds:Education Catalyst Fund, India Education Investment Fund, Unitus Seed Fund, Menterra Social Impact Fund
Large-Scale School Transformation
Education Impact in Action: Convegenius
The Financial Services portfolio focuses on improving the financial stability of low-income families in India by creating access to responsible banking services. The work includes:
- Catalyzing the urban microfinance market in India (now in exit mode).
- Developing and delivering a range of financial products (including micro-savings, MSME loans, and micro-mortgages) and services to meet varied needs of customers from low-income households.
- Supporting ecosystem solutions to develop and catalyze technology-led innovations in the financial services sector.
Credit and Savings for the Poor
- Urban microfinance: Svasti, Arohan, Sonata (exited Janalakshmi, Ujjivan, Swadhaar, and Samhita)
- Specialised credit: ISFC (school finance), Intellegrow (venture debt), Kinara Capital (small-sized debt financing to entrepreneurs), Shiksha Finance (school and student finance), Varthana (school finance), Eduvanz (skill financing), exited Micro Housing Finance Corporation (now Svatantra)
- Micro-savings: Sub-K (last-mile banking)
- Ecosystem: Centre for Digital Financial Inclusion (CDFI)
- Seed funds: Bharat Inclusive Financial Technologies Seed Fund
Financial Services Impact in Action: Sub-K
Jobs and Livelihoods
The Jobs & Livelihoods portfolio focuses on providing disadvantaged youth with high-quality vocational skills and other employment opportunities to increase their earning potential. The work includes:
- Boosting potential by imparting quality skills training and certification.
- Providing meaningful employment and livelihood opportunities to youth.
- Reducing friction towards meaningful employment.
- Funding ecosystem solutions to develop and catalyze early-stage innovations.
Skill Training and Job Placement
- Quality training institutions: LabourNet, DRF, Anudip, MagicBus, iSTAR (now rebranded as Salesken), Skillveri, Kings Learning
- Ecosystem: Skill vouchers, NSDC, APSSDC
- Job creation: Blowhorn, iMerit, Vindhya, WorkEx
- Seed funds: Pravega, Unitus Ventures