Maitri Livelihood raises funding from Upaya Social Ventures, 3rd Creek Foundation

Kolkata-based training and placement firm for caregivers Maitri Livelihood Services Pvt Ltd (Maitri) has secured an undisclosed amount in follow-on impact investment from Upaya Social Ventures and 3rd Creek Foundation (3CF), according to a press statement. A flagship firm of Sahayika, Maitri is a training and placement company for caregivers that recruits, trains and secures employment for women from vulnerable backgrounds in the East and Northeast communities of India. Headed by Gitali Thakur, Maitri currently trains and places these recruits through three centres in Guwahati, Assam and Kolkata. It is planning to launch four more centres across Assam and West Bengal in 2017. An economics graduate from Cotton College in Guwahati, Gitali has 10 years of experience in livelihood promotion and microfinance and has previously worked with BASIX, Friends of Women’s World Banking (FWWB) and MicroSave. “What Gitali and her team have achieved in a short time is remarkable, and we hope that our support will help her expand operations and reach many more women living in disadvantaged communities,” said Gwen Straley, 3CF’s executive director. In May last year, Maitri joined Upaya’s flagship programme, Life-Changing Interventions for the Ultra Poor (LiftUP), and received seed equity funding and financial management support from Upaya. “Upaya’s partnership has helped start our scale-up phase and expansion into new markets like Kolkata. Close association with Upaya has helped us identifying and working on challenges,” said Gitali. Upaya works as a non-profit micro finance firm and provides seed funding and business development support to promising entrepreneurs who can create jobs in India’s most impoverished communities. On the other side, founded in 2007 by Dave and Pam Straley, Nevada-based 3CF is a private family foundation that aims to reduce poverty by helping people with funding.