MUMBAI, 13 August 2019- DBS Bank India Limited and Social Alpha announced a strategic partnership today, aimed at bolstering the growth of social enterprises and supporting innovators through business mentoring and seed capital. The DBS-Social Alpha program will strengthen the ecosystem for enterprises focusing on the areas of Inclusion, Healthcare and Environment, through a total program grant of INR 10 MN.
Social Alpha (registered as Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship) is a Technology Business Incubator (TBI), approved by the Department of Science and Technology (GoI), and supported by Tata Trusts, that helps create high quality, accessible and affordable solutions through its incubation, accelerator and seed capital programs. The DBS-Social Alpha Social Entrepreneurship program will focus on providing holistic support to entrepreneurs and equipping them with resources for creating successful go-to market strategies, developing sustainable business models and accelerating their product development efforts.
The shortlisted enterprises are from the current Social Alpha cohort as well as from the pipeline of social ventures supported by DBS over the years. The three ventures that will be a part of the program over the next year and a half
Speaking about the partnership, Surojit Shome – CEO, DBS Bank India said, “As a purpose-driven bank, we have an important role to play in the sustainable development of our markets by managing our business in a balanced and responsible way. We have been actively supporting social enterprises that address environmental and social issues through innovative and financially sustainable solutions. Our endeavor is to help these Businesses for Good to grow their impact in the long term through increasing their enterprise viability. Through the partnership, we will be able to leverage Social Alpha’s expertise in incubating social enterprises, as well as their diverse network. We hope that this helps innovators to maximise their positive impact, while achieving commercial viability.”
Elaborating on the partnership, Manoj Kumar, Co-founder & CEO, Social Alpha said “At Social Alpha we believe that science and technology-based entrepreneurship has the potential to solve complex social, economic and environmental challenges. We nurture the most promising mission driven teams through our business and technology incubation ecosystem and invite investors (CSR, philanthropies, foundations) to support these social enterprises. We often hear start-ups talk about the lack of risk capital, and parallelly, mainstream capital too has reservations on the sustainability of social enterprises. Our partnership with DBS Bank India is bridging this gap. We are grateful to DBS' commitment to enable entrepreneurs who are on a mission to create large scale impact, making their contribution more effective, meaningful and measurable."
Over the years, DBS has been focused on advancing the sustainability agenda, through responsible banking, responsible business practices and creating social impact. It was the first bank in Southeast Asia to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Asia-Pacific, and the first Singapore bank to be named as a constituent of the FTSE4Good Global Index. DBS has also been included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the last two years.
Entrepreneurship is a part of the organisational DNA and DBS in India had earlier partnered with a leading social sciences academic institution from 2012-2017 to provide crucial monetary and non-monetary support to over 40 budding social entrepreneurs. Last year, as part of DBS Group’s 50-year celebrations over 50 high-potential social entrepreneurs were selected from across core DBS markets for a signature, one-year mentorship program with DBS top management. The new partnership with Social Alpha will allow DBS to take their commitment to social entrepreneurship forward.
The DBS Foundation was launched in 2014 with a focus on championing social enterprises. The Foundation has nurtured over 300 social enterprises since 2014 who are on the path to scale up and make our world more inclusive, clean and safe.
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world.
Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney, “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker and “Best Bank in the World” by Global Finance. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia” award by Global Finance for ten consecutive years from 2009 to 2018.
DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, and positively impacting communities through supporting social enterprises, as it banks the Asian way. It has also established a SGD 50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.
With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 27,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.
About Social Alpha
Social Alpha promotes innovations and entrepreneurship with a mission to create large scale sustainable social, economic and environmental impact. Social Alpha nurtures start-ups through their lab to market journey, helping them create high quality, commercially viable, accessible and affordable solutions. Social Alpha is focused on catalysing entrepreneurship for impact and provides critical technology and business incubation support to the mission driven start-ups. For more information, please visit www.socialalpha.org
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