Facebook India on Wednesday announced a call for applications for its CSR (corporate social responsibility) 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 in the areas of women entrepreneurship, and to drive awareness and adoption of technology among women in India. Facebook Pragati will award four grants of up to Rs 50 lakh for each non-profit to scale their work.
“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,” said Ajit Mohan, vice president and managing director, Facebook India. “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.”
The non-profits selected for Facebook Pragati initiative will get access to mentorship by an N/Core Partner - Kamakshi Rao (partner, Ankur Capital); K R Lakshminaraya (chief endowment officer of Azim Premji Foundation) and S K Jain (co-founder, WestBridge Capital) amongst others. The startups 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.
“N/Core believes in the massive potential of women entrepreneurs to drive innovation, create jobs, unlock the power of technology, and fuel India’s economic growth,” said Akshay Soni, managing director, N/Core Accelerator. “We are excited to partner with Facebook in launching Pragati and taking a significant step towards bridging the deficit for providing essential support for women entrepreneurs.”