Social Media

Facebook launches ‘Pragati’ to boost women entrepreneurship in India

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on March 11, 2020

Facebook India on Wednesday called for applications for its CSR initiative, Facebook Pragati, powered by N/Core (The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation).

The initiative will incubate and accelerate early-stage women-led non-profits that are working to drive women entrepreneurship and to spread awareness and adoption of technology among women in India. Facebook Pragati will award four grants of up to ₹50 lakh for each non-profit to scale their work.

Ajit Mohan, Vice-President and Managing Director, Facebook India, said: “Facebook is an ally for accelerating India’s growth and promoting inclusion is one of our key priorities. An important enabler for that is financial independence. The relative number of businesses in India run by women entrepreneurs is still very low. We are committed to helping women entrepreneurs succeed through greater access to digital platforms, funds and mentorship.”

“Our CSR focus with Facebook Pragati will be to empower women to set-up and grow their businesses, and contribute to making the country economically and socially stronger,” he added

Non-profits that are less than three years old and have at least one woman founder can apply. They should be able to demonstrate a viable business plan.

Applications can be made on, until March 31,.

Hands-on support

Besides a grant of up to ₹50 lakh, each of the non-profits selected for Facebook Pragati initiative will mentored by an N/Core Partner — which include Kamakshi Rao (Partner, Ankur Capital); KR Lakshminaraya (Chief Endowment Officer of Azim Premji Foundation) and SK Jain (Co-founder, WestBridge Capital), among others.

The start-ups will also receive hands-on support in areas like technology, marketing and human resources from renowned experts and industry leaders, including Facebook’s leadership team and employee volunteers.

Along with improving the fundraising strategy of the non-profits through techniques including targeting and storytelling, the programme will also ensure face to face meetings with funders to enable the non-profits to utilise and internalise the learnings, leading to greater sustainability.

The programme will work on building second-tier capacity within the non-profits, with a series of functional mentors across marketing, HR and technology. Apart from creating sustainability, this will also allow founders to spend time on strategic growth, resulting in scaling up faster.

Published on March 11, 2020

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