DBS Foundation Awards SGD 3.7 Million To 24 Businesses For Impact, 5 From India 

The five Indian BFIs were among the 24 finalists for the DBS Foundation grant from across Asia. 
DBS Foundation Awards SGD 3.7 Million To 24 Businesses For Impact, 5 From India 

DBS Foundation, a financial services group in Asia, unveiled the 24 Businesses for Impact (BFIs) that received the DBS Foundation Grant Award in the latest part of this flagship initiative. Five of these awardees are from India and will receive funding and access to a suite of opportunities, including networking and patient capital, to scale up operations. 

These purpose-driven BFIs are working at the nexus of economic, environmental, and social impact, and their innovative solutions are a pathway to a more inclusive, low-carbon future, according to a company statement. 

Project Baala, with its focus on sustainable menstrual solutions and literacy, aims to improve the health of women and girls in rural areas. Green Worms is an emerging circular economy enterprise generating employment for women, while Zerund Manufacturing is reshaping the building materials industry with eco-friendly solutions. KaroSambhav is enabling a more circular economy by implementing collection and recycling solutions for electronic and other types of waste, while Swachh Sustainable Solutions (ReCircle) is championing a traceable supply chain for waste pickers. 

The five Indian BFIs were among the 24 finalists for the DBS Foundation grant from across Asia. From a record 2000 grant applications received across DBS markets, the final grantees were evaluated based on stringent criteria, including their ability to create social and environmental impact, to innovate, and on the overall sustainability and scalability of their organizations. 

The winning BFIs will receive holistic support to scale both their businesses and the impact generated through grant funding totaling SGD 3.7 million for all grantees, along with additional support such as customized banking services and capacity-building, along with access to business prospects. 

Shoma Narayanan, Managing Director, Group Strategic Marketing & Communications, DBS Bank India, said, "This year's awardees from India, focusing on areas like waste management, responsible consumption, inclusive employment, and women’s health, are working on sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time.” 

In India specifically, Project Baala will use the grant for the launch of hydrophobic sanitary pads in India, reducing plastic waste while educating underserved women. The grant will enable KaroSambhav to launch an e-waste management facility in Maharashtra, generating green jobs and enabling the recovery of critical minerals. Green Worms will use the grant to expand its recycling facility in Kerala, benefiting more than 120 villages in the region through waste management and job creation. Swachh Sustainable Solutions (ReCircle) plans to use the funds to enhance its traceability platform, ClimateOne, which diverts 400 tons of waste from landfills while improving the lives of waste pickers. Zerund Manufacturing will be able to scale up, using the funds, to produce eco-friendly construction materials. The growth of these businesses aligns with India’s pathway to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by addressing climate change concerns as well as the challenges faced by underprivileged and marginalized communities. 

2024 marks the 10th year of the DBS Foundation’s work, championing BFIs and equipping them for success. To date, funding totaling SGD 17 million has been awarded to 140 of the region’s most innovative BFIs via the DBS Foundation Grant Award. This has helped to address the funding gap commonly faced by many of these young enterprises, and the grant awardees have since gone on to raise more than tenfold in follow-on funding, according to a company statement. 

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