India has the second largest number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the world, which play a key economic role by employing close to 40% of India’s workforce.
However, most traditional lenders typically engage in traditional collateral-based lending to enterprises operating in established industries and require at least three years of profitable track record. This lack of financing prevents SMEs from growing and is cited as the main reason they go out of business.
IntelleGrow addresses these gaps by providing customized financing solutions using flexible repayment schedules linked to cash flows to fast growing early-stage enterprises. Since 2011, IntelleGrow has been providing critical and affordable loans to India's small and growing social enterprises in order to secure their growth and amplify their impact.
IntelleGrow's lending portfolio is approximately $20M, with loans that range from $100K to $1M, with an average loan size of around $300K and an average loan term of about two years. The organization has grown quickly and has already made loans to over 60 companies in India.
IntelleGrow's portfolio companies work in healthcare, agriculture, water and sanitation, and financial inclusion. IntelleGrow is a part of a new and growing field of SME lenders in India responding to the gap in the demand for debt financing from small and medium businesses shut out of mainstream bank financing because of a lack of traditional collateral.
Orb Energy works to provide reliable, affordable energy to India
Over 40% of India's population does not have access to reliable and affordable energy services. IntelleGrow supports innovative energy enterprises that work to address this gap. One of IntelleGrow's recent energy investments is Orb Energy.
Orb Energy manufactures, assembles and retails solar water heaters and photovoltaic systems for domestic and commercial uses. IntelleGrow has made several working capital loans to Orb, facilitating their business growth.
Damian Miller of Orb Energy said "For us IntelleGrow stepped in and provided essential working capital at reasonable terms where other banks had been unwilling or wary to lend without extremely onerous conditions."
The Praxis commitment
Praxis Mutual Funds® supports organizations such as IntelleGrow through fund investments in Calvert Impact Capital, an impact-investing institution that helps people around the world through community development financing. It’s part of the Praxis commitment to place approximately 1% of each of its funds to benefit neighborhoods and individuals through community development investments.