• Villgro as an implementation partner will support MoHUA and AFD’s efforts to reinforce India’s waste management ecosystem
  • The top 10 selected enterprises stand to win prizes worth  ₹25, 00,000 and personalized professional support for a year. Additional investments of up to  ₹50, 00,000 to eligible startups along with tech support.

New Delhi January 31st, 2022: The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India in partnership with the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) launched the Swachhata Start-Up Challenge to provide an impetus to innovative start-ups to come forward and drive catalytic transformation in the sanitation and waste management sector. In line with Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’, the Challenge seeks to promote an enabling environment for enterprise development under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 (SBM-U 2.0).

The Challenge was launched by Shri Manoj Joshi, Secretary, MoHUA along with H.E. Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India and H.E. Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the European Union to India and Bhutan, in the presence of Ms. Roopa Mishra, Joint Secretary & National Mission Director, SBM-U, Government of India and Bruno Bosle, Country Director, AFD India.

The Challenge is open to start-ups registered in India and French actors collaborating with an Indian start-up (as a joint venture). The primary mission of the Swachhata Startup Challenge is to support startups creating solutions across four thematic areas viz. (i) social inclusion, (ii) zero dump (solid waste management), (iii) plastic waste management and (iv)transparency through digital enablement. A financial award of ₹25, 00,000 will be extended to the top 10 startups from MoHUA-AFD alongside 1-year of personalized professional support. Apart from this, eligible startups will get additional incentives which include up to ₹ 50 Lakhs follow-on investment from Villgro, the implementation partner of the Challenge, and upto 100,000 USD worth of credits and support from technology partner Amazon Web Services, to each winner.

The call for online submission of applications starts from today through the dedicated micro-site launched at the event (www.swachhatastartupchallenge.com) that details the key modalities of the Challenge.

Speaking on the challenge, Ananth Aravamudan - Sector Lead, Climate Action, “We are proud to be a part of this thought-provoking Challenge that aims to bolster the country’s evolving waste management ecosystem. In our capacity as the initiative’s implementation partner, we will put our best foot forward in enabling both MoHUA and the AFD to execute this challenge successfully. To that end, we will also help startups to get more capital from the ecosystem i.e. Startup India Seed Fund, and many more.”      Startups interested in partaking in this challenge are suggested to submit their online application form between Jan 27, 2022, and March 31, 2022. The pre-selection round will commence from May 1, 2022, to April 30, 2022, in which 30 candidates will be selected after a thorough screening process. The selection phase will span between May 1, 2022, and May 30, 2022, in which shortlisted participants will need to submit an electronic selection form, followed by a virtual pitch event which will then be succeeded by the selection of the final 10 laureates. The award ceremony will be held in June 2022.

About Villgro:

Villgro is India's foremost and one of the world's largest social enterprise incubators. Established in 2001, Villgro creates impactful, innovative and successful enterprises in Health, Agribusiness, and Climate Action. Since 2001, Villgro has supported 323 social enterprises that have raised over INR 4,388 million in investments, to create 4922 jobs and impact over 20 million lives.  Villgro was awarded the Top Incubator Award by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (GoI) in 2020. Apart from India, Villgro also has a presence in the USA, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

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