Kate Genereux

Upaya Joins With Ennovent IIH, LAF: Creative Venture Fund to Expand Youth Employment and Employability Through Investment in Anant Learning & Development

Upaya is proud to announce today that it has come together with Ennovent Impact Investment Holding (Ennovent IIH) and LAF: Creative Venture Fund (LAF:CVF) to invest in Anant Learning & Development (Anant), a Delhi-based company that is working to ensure young people from poor communities across India have adequate skills training and regular access to secure stable employment with credible employers. Upaya will provide funding and business development support to Anant through its LiftUP Project framework.

Anant has developed a two-track model for improving labor markets for young people. First, the company provides placement and post-placement services through its Rozgarmela.com platform to youth in both urban and rural communities across India. Second, Anant consults with private and public sector employers to assess the effectiveness of their skill development programs through skills assessments and post-placement tracking. Anant currently operates in nine states [within India].           

“Having overseen many vocational training projects in the past, I saw that the young men and women who graduated out of training programs quickly fell back out of the formal sector workforce,” said Anant Founder and CEO Ajit Singh.

“These young people often claimed frequent miscommunication of salary, benefits as well as job roles by training and placement agencies while, at the same time, employers complained of high attrition and need for credible intermediaries for sourcing candidates. The misalignment of incentives of training and placement agencies is a central issue, and I thought that a more transparent, data-driven approach could iron out the inefficiencies in the market,” said Singh.

Unlike many placement websites in India, Anant does not collect fees from the young people being placed. Instead, the company harnesses its data collection capabilities to provide actionable insights to employers, training agencies, and government agencies so that each can improve the efficacy and efficiency of their efforts.

Singh expects to enroll 10 employers every month on Rozgarmela.com, who are collectively projected to hire approximately 250 candidates.

The Ennovent Circle, an exclusive group that collaborates to accelerate innovations for low-income markets, facilitated the investment in Anant. Both Upaya and Ennovent IIH are Ennovent Circle members.

 “The unique selling point of Anant is its strong linkages to the industry and direct contact with the beneficiaries. This helps the company understand the needs of the potential employees and connects the disconnected rural youth to the employment system,”said Ennovent Circle Manager Joel Rodrigues. “The Ennovent Impact Investment Holding is optimistic about the impact Anant will be able to create at the grass roots through this investment,” said Rodrigues.

Upaya’s support of Anant has been made possible by LAF:CVF, a venture philanthropy fund that invests in employment and empowerment initiatives that provide vulnerable youth around the world with the means to create a better life for themselves.

“Upaya sees Anant’s platform as enhancing the ability of young men and women from poor communities to earn a stable, dignified living,” said Upaya’s Director, Business Development Sreejith Nedumpully. “By harnessing technology along with a geographically diverse network of trainers and assessors, Anant is able to remove the inefficiencies from the system,” said Nedumpully.

Upaya Teams Up With LAF: Creative Venture Fund To Bring Employment Opportunities to Vulnerable Youth

Upaya and LAF: Creative Venture Fund (LAF:CVF) have come together to build skills and create thousands of jobs for young women and men living in India’s poorest communities. Through this partnership, Upaya and LAF:CVF will identify, invest in, and provide business development support to promising early-stage ventures with significant youth employment potential via Upaya’s LiftUP Project initiative.

Together, the two organizations will work to support multiple new ventures and create significant new employment opportunities across India.

LAF:CVF is a venture philanthropy fund that invests in employment and empowerment initiatives that provide vulnerable youth around the world with the means to create a better life for themselves. This partnership lays the groundwork for LAF:CVF to make its first investments in India following similar efforts in Haiti and Kenya. 

“Not enough organizations are focused on giving youth opportunities to build critical life and job skills while also ensuring they have the opportunity to utilize those skills to earn a viable living,” said LAF:CVF Executive Director Kate Genereux. “Sachi and her team have an incredible track record of providing critical financial and advisory support to promising entrepreneurs who have, in turn, become large scale employers of young people in their areas,” said Genereux.   

Upaya’s flagship program, the Life-Changing Interventions for the Ultra Poor (LiftUP) Project incubates early-stage enterprises in low-income communities by combining patient seed equity funding with hands-on financial management support. Upaya’s goal is to help each enterprise reach financial stability, scale, and become a significant local employer.

From our initial conversations it was clear that LAF:CVF leadership shared Upaya’s vision of poverty alleviation and youth empowerment through employment.  We are thrilled to translate that philosophy into action and help young men and women from poor communities earn a stable, dignified living.”