Google.org, Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF) and Omidyar Network have announced a $17 million Small to Medium Enterprise Investment Company for India to create job opportunities and spur greater economic participation for a larger segment of the population.
This joint Investment Company will provide capital to small and medium businesses in undeserved markets.
The fund aims to bridge the gap between microloans offered by microfinance institutions and the larger investments of commercial banks and private equity funders.
As per a report by VentureIntelligence, the private equity firms invested Rs. 130 billion last year in the country’s core infrastructure, but India needs about Rs 1,900 billion, i.e. $475 billion over five years in order to support the targeted 9% growth. (source)
Google has also partnered with PlanetRead to fight illiteracy in India.
Aside, one of my 2008 prediction was that Indian smallbusinesses will get Googled!