HDFC Bank launches the 5th Parivartan SmartUp grant
The HDFC bank opened applications for its fifth edition of the SmartUp grants on Wednesday.
The annual program awards funds to start-ups and social incubators under #Parivartan, HDFC Bank’s umbrella for its corporate social responsibility.
This year, the bank has allocated up to Rs 15 crore for SmartUp grants.
“The bank intends to select 12 to 15 incubators and around fifty start-ups active in the environment, health, gender and diversity sectors. The deadline for submitting applications is the third week of November 2021 and the winners will be declared in February 2022, ”the bank said in a statement.
So far, the bank has disbursed 20 crore rupees through 22 incubator partners to a total of 90 start-ups in segments such as agribusiness, electronics technology, waste management, healthcare and skills development.
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For the current year, the bank offers 2 different approaches to disburse up to Rs 15 crore.
Incubators eligible in accordance with Annex VII of the 2013 Companies Law and 2014 Company Rules (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) will present their capabilities to execute the grant process according to the requirements of the CSR program. In the request, incubators will also provide a long list of startups that align with the focus areas of the program.
Startups eligible under Annex VII of the 2013 Companies Act and 2014 Company Rules (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) and working on product innovation, development or improvement or process or service, or whether it is a scalable business model with high potential for job creation or wealth creation may apply.
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“SmartUp grants are meant to support and develop social entrepreneurs,” said Ashima Bhat, Head of CSR, Corporate Finance and Infrastructure, HDFC Bank, adding, “India needs innovative businesses to meet the needs of society ”.
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“We strive to discover and develop both start-ups and incubators working in three areas of intervention: Environment – Nature conservation; Health – Improve health care? ; and Gender Diversity – Improving Gender Equality ?. This aligns with some of the broader strategic goals of our Parivartan program, ”she added.
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“Startups are reinventing and reshaping the world we live in,” said Smita Bhagat, Country Manager, Government and Institutional Affairs, Ecommerce and Startups, HDFC Bank.
“At HDFC Bank, we are committed to developing, strengthening and collaborating with the start-up community and ecosystem in India,” she added.
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“By inviting incubators to pitch this year, we are expanding and deepening our reach across the country. “
We are convinced that this approach will improve funding opportunities for more start-ups and social entrepreneurs, ”she added.
Shortlisted incubators and start-ups will be announced by the end of November and will be invited to apply to the selection panel, made up of senior management from HDFC Bank.
Due diligence for shortlisted entities will begin from December and final winners will be announced in February 2022.
The SmartUp Grants are part of a larger HDFC Bank effort to create an ecosystem to nurture the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in the start-up space.
It is an extension of HDFC Bank’s SmartUp solution through which the bank offers tailor-made banking and advisory solutions to entrepreneurs.
The journey began with the launch of the SmartUp solution, a one-of-a-kind banking solution for start-ups, designed to meet all the requirements of a start-up by offering banking and payment solutions, as well as advisory and foreign exchange services.
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In addition, by accessing the bank’s SmartUp portal, start-ups can tap into the knowledge and experience of a complete network of start-ups while simultaneously offering their services to this universe.
The bank now has dedicated SmartUp zones in more than 67 branches in 30 cities across India, including Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities that are emerging as start-up hubs, according to the statement.