GIZ partners with Samhita and Villgro to boost Corporate Engagement in the incubation of Startups and Social Enterprises

November, 2016

GIZ (The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH), an international development organisation, has partnered with Samhita Social Ventures and Villgro to facilitate corporate engagement in the incubation of startups and social enterprises.

Through this partnership, GIZ, Samhita and Villgro seek to address large gaps in the Indian incubation ecosystem such as limited domestic capital and insufficient support for start-ups. The project aims at facilitating partnerships between companies and incubators by means of match-making.

Incubators play a critical role in nurturing startups and social enterprises. Although there are approximately 160 incubators in India, the boom in startups and social enterprises has fueled a demand for incubator support with estimates placing the demand at 1,000 incubators by 2020.

There is a strong case for corporate participation in supporting incubators, and it opens a plethora of opportunities for all stakeholders involved – companies, incubators, startups and social enterprises. Furthermore, the Companies Act, 2013 permits investments in incubators to be included in a company’s CSR (corporate social responsibility) spending.

“ Fostering the startup eco-system is important for India’s strive for a more inclusive & sustainable economy. GIZ together with its partners Bosch and Intellecap is committed to support the startup ecosystem by linking the various important stakeholders such as corporates, incubators, startups, etc. and providing them the support that is needed,” says Priyanka Kohli, Project Advisor, GIZ.

 Priya Naik, Founder & CEO at Samhita, says, “Companies can play a critical role in incubating social enterprises. Their industry expertise, access to markets and mentorship support could make a significant impact on the startup ecosystem in India. With the funding of incubators now permitted under the CSR law, companies can leverage this opportunity to spark innovation and drive business growth.”

 “Early-stage startups and social enterprises need all the support they can get for them to scale for maximum impact. From critical seed funding that any company needs while they are piloting to mentors who have been through the trials of business themselves, incubators offer an ecosystem of support,” says Paul Basil, Founder-CEO, Villgro.

Participating in this platform will provide corporates with access to innovative technologies and products, new markets and business partners. Corporate investments will help build capacity of existing incubators and improve the efficiency of the incubation sector. This will directly impact emerging start-ups and social enterprises by helping them successfully get off the ground.

For any queries, please email Pranav Gupta at [email protected] or [email protected].