FB calls for applications under women entrepreneurship initiative

(IANS) Facebook India on Monday announced a call for applications from women-led non-profits for the second phase of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative — Facebook Pragati.

Facebook Pragati, an initiative to boost women empowerment, was launched in 2020 in partnership with The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation. The initiative, which has entered its second year, will incubate and accelerate early stage women-led non-profits that are working on women related issues such as entrepreneurship, digital inclusion, technology, and health.

This year, Facebook Pragati will award six grants of up to Rs 50 lakh to each non-profit to scale up their work, the social networking giant said.

“Facebook has always been committed to promoting inclusivity through its platforms. We strongly believe that with the right digital training and resources, small businesses led by women can create a positive economic footprint for themselves as well as their communities. The impact of Covid on women entrepreneurs in India has exacerbated the vast gender gap,” Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India, said in a statement.

“We had launched Facebook Pragati last year to help women entrepreneurs in their journey to growth and we have been inspired by the success of the first four beneficiary businesses. We are now thrilled to announce the second phase and await more such exciting organisations to be part of this initiative with Nudge Foundation and us,” he added.

In addition to the grants, each of the non-profits selected for Facebook Pragati will get access to mentorship, fund-raising, organisational capacity building and collaboration with Facebook.

Non-profits that are less than five years old and have at least one woman founder can apply. The non-profits should also be able to demonstrate a viable business plan, working on women related issues such as entrepreneurship, digital inclusion, technology, and health. The applications will close on August 17, the tech giant said.

In 2020, four exceptional women-led non profits were chosen out of a pool of 1,326 applications and supported through grants and mentoring for 6-12 months by Facebook Pragati.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to massive losses in the Indian non-profit sector, with a significant percentage of organisations seeing shrinkage in annual revenues, but these grantees’ annual revenues in FY2021 more than tripled. They are also planning for another doubling on the larger base in FY2022, the company said.

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