The “la Caixa” Foundation has contributed to generating more than 14,000 jobs in India through Work4Progress (W4P), a pioneering programme that promotes social innovation and the creation of quality employment among women and vulnerable young people through open platforms for social innovation.
The programme has also enabled the start-up of almost 7,000 businesses and more than 90 prototypes of companies and services have been created, according to data presented during the annual W4P event, held in Delhi and attended by the director of the International Area of the “la Caixa” Foundation, the Infanta Cristina.
At the same event, it was announced that, within the framework of W4P, the SBI Foundation, the entity that manages the corporate social responsibility of the State Bank of India, will allocate 465,000 euros over two years to a project to promote entrepreneurship through social innovation. The State Bank of India is a member of the World Savings Banks and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI), the world’s largest banking association, comprising 6,000 savings banks and retail banks from all over the world, with 1,600 million customers.
According to the “la Caixa” Foundation, this collaboration with the State Bank of India will enable the creation of 1,250 more microenterprises and generate 3,500 jobs for young people and women from vulnerable populations in the regions of Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bundelkhand. W4P also counts on the support of different companies that are part of this initiative and that, with their contributions, contribute to increasing the impact of the programme.
Launched in 2017 with an annual budget of 2.6 million euros, W4P has a network of 13 collaborating social entities in India that operate in the regions of Bundelkhand and Eastern Uttar Pradesh. This network is led by Development Alternatives and Alianza por la Solidaridad, two leading organisations.
W4P, which also operates in Peru and Mozambique, has received several recognitions, among others, from the UNDP, which adopted W4P as an example of good practice, and from the World Bank, which selected W4P for its Solutions for Youth Employment portfolio.
The W4P programme fosters social innovation platforms for action and learning where innovative solutions can be scaled. The programme focuses on prototyping high-impact solutions that are identified in spaces of co-creation and collaborative learning.
The aim is to move away from funding isolated projects and aspire to contribute to the construction of true innovation ecosystems. Social innovation platforms seek to interconnect organisations and actions around shared objectives, methodologies and evaluation systems in order to achieve systemic impact.
Although a platform approach requires more effort in the design phase and new tools to build a collective vision, it will ultimately help to align disconnected initiatives and improve their impact, cohesion and visibility.