Google, others plan to invest on small firms in India

Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, has teamed up with the Soros Economic Development Fund and Omidyar Network to fund a $17 million company that will invest in small- and medium-size business in India, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the Small to Medium Enterprise Investment Co. would fill the gap between loans offered by microfinance institutions and those of large commercial banks and private equity funds.

The report quoted Google.org's Sonal Shah as saying that Indian businesses of small and medium size do not have the same financing opportunities as provided in rich countries.

'Our goal is to increase the flow of capital to SMEs in India. This is an important step in helping to attract commercial capital and reduce dependency on philanthropy or soft capital to fund this industry.'

There is a huge demand for loans targeted at small and medium businesses, said Neal DeLaurentis, vice president of Soros Economic Development Fund.

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