Uttarakhand: based social startup bags INR 9 lakh funding from SBI Foundation

sbi event
  • 5 social enterprises bag INR 4.5 million funding at SBI Youth for India Conclave 2024
  • 18 social ventures supported by SBI Foundation accelerating Rural Development & Supporting India’s national priorities of rural development.
  • SBI Youth for India programme has impacted 150,000+ lives in 250+ villages in 20 states in the country.
  • 70% of SBI Youth for India alumni are pursuing careers in the social sector.

Uttarakhand: SBI Foundation, the CSR arm of the State Bank group recently hosted the two-day SBI Youth for India Conclave in Bangalore, offering a dynamic platform to social entrepreneurs and trailblazers from the social sector. The event, held in Bangalore witnessed the convergence of social entrepreneurs, academia, civil society representatives, and alumni of the SBI Youth for India (YFI) Program.

At the YFI Conclave, ‘SBI YFI Sahyog – The Pitch Fest’ saw 9 social enterprises compete for funding, where 5 winners were granted seed funding of INR 4.5 million. Uttarakhand-based social enterprise PIRUL bagged INR 9 lakh seed funding among the 5 winners. The initiative aims to provide seed funding to promising non- profit and for-profit ventures led by SBI YFI alumni, facilitating their continued efforts towards social impact and community development. The selection process for the winning ventures involved a rigorous assessment and evaluation conducted by an esteemed jury comprising Mr. Sanjay Prakash (MD & CEO, SBI Foundation), Mr. Jagannath Sahoo (President & COO, SBI Foundation), Dr. Gayathri Swahar, Senior Director, Social Entrepreneurship at The/Nudge Institute and Co-founder of Ycook India, Mr. Suresh Krishna Bandi, Associate Vice President- Programs & Partnerships, I-Ventures@ ISB, Hyderabad, and Mr. Gyan Prakash Program Head, SBI Youth For India Fellowship.

SBI EVENTAddressing the distinguished gathering at the Youth for India Conclave 2024, Mr. Sanjay Prakash, Managing Director & CEO of SBI Foundation, emphasized the pivotal role of the youth in driving transformative change within the country. He said, “The future of our nation hinges upon its young, educated, and socially conscious demographic. Through initiatives like the Youth for India Fellowship, we have witnessed firsthand how our young Fellows have harnessed their potential to initiate tangible social impact projects in rural communities. Having impacted 1,50,000+ lives in 250+ villages across the length and breadth of the country, we take pride in nurturing social entrepreneurship and contributing to India’s national priorities around rural development.”

Mr. Prakash further highlighted, “The projects spearheaded by our Fellows have not only accelerated rural development but have also fostered inclusive and sustainable growth across 20 states in the remotest corners of our country.”The following ventures won grants to further their work:

Sr. No .Name  –   Name of the Organization – Organization Brief Seed Grant Amount

  1. Nupur Poharkar Pirul Handicrafts PIRUL HANDICRAFTS is a social enterprise based in the hills of Uttarakhand. PIRUL aims to create a sustainable enterprise that generates employment for the local women using pine needles, which are otherwise waste and are responsible for causing forest fires and groundwater table depletion. Thereby serving the environment with people’s own involvement. At present, PIRUL has upskilled more than 100 women from the remotest of the villages in the Kumaon region and has given them regular work. PIRUL makes a wide variety of products, including home decor articles like trays, planters, organizer baskets, coasters, etc., and fashion accessories like sling bags and earrings. INR 9 lakh.
  2. Ashwini Laxman Shelke Shahalakshya Charitable Trust Shahalakshya Charitable Trust focuses on positive change and empowerment through scholarships, awareness campaigns on government schemes, and a modern digital library with  educational resources. They organize academic competitions and safety workshops while promoting student safety and empowerment. Additionally, they conduct health awareness campaigns for young women and engage in organic farming for sustainable practices. INR 9 lakh.
  3. Nishant Kumar Singh Jawhar Farms  Jawhar Farms, a social enterprise and tribal superfood brand in Jawhar, Maharashtra, connects urban demand for healthy millet-based food with traditional tribal resources by providing livelihood opportunities to tribal women.  INR 9 lakh.
  4. Shraddha Anand Gosavi Quest Quest enables core values like Responsibility, Sustainability & Community Innovation by curating opportunities to experience new environments, challenge our perspective & meaningful connections. This leads to creating impactful travel experiences by Engaging & Embracing local communities. INR 9 lakh.
  5. Dr. Steward Gracian  SocioDent Private Limited SocioDent is a startup focused on dental innovations. Their vision is to redefine the oral healthcare of dependent and disadvantaged individuals through their product and service innovations. Their primary focus is on catering to the dental needs of the elderly and persons with disabilities. They are working on inclusive dental care solutions such as patented mouthpiece-based oral hygiene device and home care dentistry. INR 9 lakh.

The event was attended by some eminent personalities such as Mr. Debasish Mishra, GM, Business Solutions, State Bank of India, Mr. Vishwanath S, Visiting faculty, Azim Premji University, Mr. Prahlathan KK, Founder, Bhumi, Mr. Vasimalai M.P., Executive Director, DHAN Foundation, Ms. Sanchita Mitra, National Coordinator, SEWA Bharat, Mr. Liby Johnson, Executive Director, Gram Vikas, Ms. Geeta Verghese, former Coordinator, Youth for India apart from others, who added valuable insights and perspectives to the deliberations.

Through various projects, SBI YFI Fellows have made notable contributions in diverse thematic areas, including Health, Rural Livelihood, Food Security, Environmental Protection, Education, Water Conservation, Technology Integration, Women’s Empowerment, Self-Governance, Social Entrepreneurship, Traditional Crafts, and Alternative Energy. SBI Youth for India Fellowship is currently accepting applications for the 12th batch at www.youthforindia.org/register.


Inspired by US ‘PeaceCorps’, the SBI Youth for India Fellowship is the SBI Foundation’s uniquely designed 13-month fellowship program that was founded in 2011. The Fellowship provides a framework for talented youth to join hands with rural communities, empathise with their struggles, and connect with their aspirations. In over 13 years, 10 batches of 580+ Fellows have paved the way for development with youth-led interventions.

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